Earlier this week in Jamaica, news broke about one young mother who, despite much criticism, chose to stick to her values and hand over a large sum of money to the police. The story indicates how strong, convicted mothers pass on essential life lessons to their children each day through simple, yet profound, choices. This mother, like so many others who make these kinds of choices daily, most often without any recognition, should be celebrated every day, and especially on Mother’s Day.
Ackaisha Green, 24, found a bag of cash left at the bank machine in downtown Kingston last week Saturday, May 4. Green told reporters at the Jamaica Observer that up picking up the large wad of cash she noticed that it consisted of $5000 and $1000 Jamaican dollar bills. Without hesitation, Green immediately took the cash the police station, which happened to be close by the bank machine. Within minutes, an armored truck bearer who had accidentally left the cash at the machine, hurried into the station and collected the large sum of money, which reports suspect, amounted to millions of dollars. The entire affair took place with Green’s soon to be two-year-old son in tow.
Green lives in an inner-city community in Central Kingston, and says she recently ended a three month contract at the University Hospital where she was porter. When reporters visited Green after the incident, she was on her way to an employment agency and indicated that she aspires to complete a housekeeping course at the HEART Trust/NTA in order to acquire a skill that would allow her to support her family.
Green’s mother, as well as many others, criticized her vehemently over her decision to hand over the cash. Her mother told reporters that as close as that morning, Green had asked her to borrow $200. The young mother, however, remained adamant that the money wasn’t hers, and therefore she did the right thing, even if no one else agrees.
However, the story doesn’t end there.
As soon as Green’s story hit airwaves, Jamaicans at home and abroad began to flood Green with help. HEART Trust/NTA has since enrolled her in the course she wanted to take, at their expense. They’ve even made her an ambassador and will have her speak to other young people. Professor Donna Hope of the University of the West Indies has also pledged to launch a GoFundMe page for Green, to help raise funds for her assistance from the many Jamaicans overseas who have expressed interest in helping Green. Meanwhile, the NCB Foundation, Bank of Jamaica, and KingAlarm Limited have expressed interest in helping her as well.
In all of this, in every picture of Green her son is always by her side. Whether she is doing it consciously or not, she is bestowing on him a bevy of values. From her, he’s already learned the power of doing the right thing, even when it appears there may be heavy gain to be had if you do otherwise.
She has also taught him to have conviction in his decision – sticking to his personal values, whether those around you agree or not, no matter how much ridicule you may receive.
By extension, she is a role model of strength, as she chose her path, stuck to it and continues to fight to find her way to provide for her family, in the way she believes best. He can also learn humility from his mother, who would rather maintain her modest lifestyle, than be swept away by what she would consider wrong in order to elevate herself.
The list of values Green has passed along to her young son through this incident are surely endless. She has shown him, also, that the right decisions reap rewards that are oftentimes unfathomable.
Even though Green’s story is being highlighted, hers is one that is surely not unusual for mothers everywhere. Every day most mothers devote their lives to their children, and make a myriad of decisions that go beyond their personal gain. This is why they are to be celebrated on Mother’s Day, and every day.