A Mother’s Day Dilemma 15,000 Years in the Making

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Mother's Day Stone

Every year, just before Mother’s Day, we stand in front of the card display or click through screens full of e-cards trying to find the one that says precisely what we mean. Sometimes that’s a sentimental message about life and love and family. Sometimes it’s a “Someecard”. I admit to occasionally leaning toward the latter. (Shameful, I know.) But, no matter how the message is sent,  the ritual and the meaning have remained the same through the years…15,000 years.

FastCompany reported on a study by Mark Pagel, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Reading, who with his collaborators discovered two dozen words that were spoken in the stone age much the same as they are today. Among those words: “mother” and “give”.

So, as our cards and messages of love travel to Mom’s loving arms, consider that our distant relatives may have faced the same dilemma. History’s sons and daughters, the same as us, except maybe a little dirtier and hairier (Didn’t their mothers insist they wash?), may have obsessed over the perfect wildflowers, bead necklaces, and which small woodland creatures to serve for supper. And even though the words “business”, “marketing”, and “money” didn’t exist then in their current forms, it’s not hard to imagine sharp-thinking entrepreneurs on the scene as well, helping to point out the perfect gift.


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