‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is the Hand that Rules the World’ – Origin, Meaning, and Expansion
Origin: The phrase, ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is the Hand that Rules the World” appeared in a poem written by William Ross Wallace. In fact, this brilliant phrase has placed Wallace among the most celebrated poets of all time.
The above phrase is also commonly used in shortened form as ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.
Meaning: In this poem, the author says that the hands of a mother that moves the cradle are the hands that rule the world.
This proverb does not need to mean that a mother literally rules the world. It may just mean a mother has power in the household or community. The proverb celebrates motherhood and highlights the influence of a mother on the child. As a mother, women are the most defining factor that can bring a change to the society.
A mother exercises great influence in shaping the future of her child. Since, the future of the world is in the hands of kids of today. Thus, the future of the world is in the hands of mothers who nurture and prepare today’s kids for tomorrow.
Expansion: A mother gives all her love to her baby. She who moves the cradles of the baby, is the one who rules the world. Her child chooses the virtuous path only because of her good teaching. A mother is the teacher, mentor, guide, friend, companion of her child. She looks after him and takes care of his needs. She teaches him about good and bad. She advises him what to do and what to avoid.
A mother molds his child’s conduct, behavior, and habits. The teachings of a mother shapes the character of the child. The influence of mother’s teaching during his childhood remains with a person even when he grows up to adulthood.
Importance of the proverb.
- Subverting the status quo. Sometimes mothers’ power is overlooked in society.
- Celebrating childcare. Honoring those who do this kind of emotional and physical labor.
- Child development. Recognizing that child development impacts on who we are as adults.
- Family life. Celebrating the power of family life.
- Reminder. A reminder to us to do our duty to our children.
Conclusion: The proverb, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world’, is about the power of child carers., especially the mothers. A child carer can be mother, father, nanny, nurse, older sibling, etc. This saying states that whoever cares for children has real power.