I have dedicated the largest portion of my life in honoring mothers. We can never be thankful enough for the person that nurtures and instructs us through life. Some persons did not receive the amazing love I received from my mother. However, if you weren’t lucky enough to have a mother like mine, you indeed had someone who loved you. You are who you are because you know that person loved you.
I like to think of myself as a human who makes independent choices, and not as a puppet guided by strings. However, the choices we make are largely determined by the morals that were instilled into us as children.
In 2001, shortly after the tragedy of 9/11, two masked men barged into my jewelry store aiming guns at myself and my assistant. Standing behind my desk, the barrel pointed at my chest. We were ordered onto the floor while the masked men proceeded to steal the jewelry.
The next few moments seemed like an eternity. As the gunmen fled, we rose to find some jewelry showcases empty and in chaos. The store was eerily quiet, and I hugged my associate knowing that we were alive and escaped harm. Our insurance company helped refurbish our inventory and life became normal. We quickly installed a high technology security system complete with many cameras.
I still remember the robber’s eyes, who glared at me beneath a black ski mask. Today I wonder what his family life was like, what kind of a mother he had, and what morals were instilled into him. Perhaps the robber did not feel what he did was wrong, and was taught to get ahead and survive in life, one must plunder. And to be extreme, if I had the same mother as the robber, perhaps I would have been the person holding the gun. After the fear of the incident, I later became empathetic, understanding that it would be the obvious and right choice for me to not rob another. The gunman, however, may have felt he was making the obvious and right choice by stealing another’s possessions.
I have found that most people embrace an essence, and most of us are who we are the duration of our lives. I don’t intend to play on the sides of nurture and the biological conditions of nature, but I do believe a large part of our essence is absorbed from others. In my case, I learned the beauty of the universe not from the biological information passed down from my ancestors, but from the only mother I ever knew, my adoptive mother.
Loving oneself and others must be learned. That is the reason I created the Why Mom Deserves a Diamond contest. Hundreds of thousands of kids have been able to express their appreciation for their mothers from their words. My jewelry store, Gallery of Diamonds, has now become the flagship store in sponsoring this event, and allows a safe environment for thousands of families to come and have a mother and child experience.