Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Moral issues

Cultivation of morals in all societies and faiths is very important. It starts with families and then the community at large. But what complicates the situations is when the society changes with time. Naga society finds itself caught between its conservative moorings and the pulls of modernity. Parents have to make very complex choices. We want to give our kids everything – all the stuff we did not have growing up. What has not changed, however, for all parents is that they want their children to grow into fine, decent humans who can be counted on to do the right thing. Society influences all age groups, especially youngsters, by social trends, cultural concepts and way of life. It is natural for a culture to make its place in a society just as the western culture is doing today. Youngsters all over try to mould themselves according to what they read, hear or see on media. Therefore bringing up children according to the standards of the changing world seems indispensable but not at the cost of our traditional values. If the youth do not have an understanding of morality and religion and their own society as a whole, such influences may lead them astray. At the same time we cannot force our child to grow in isolation. Can our child be indifferent to the actions of other people? Can he/she afford to remain totally cut off from the rest of the society? And most important what responsibility does the parents or other ingredients of society have towards the development of moral culture he or she lives in? The question comes up: Is there anything we can do now? The early childhood years are the right time to act. It is the time when we can build awareness in them of what is right and wrong? The key word is education. It plays a role in building human conduct and personality. Besides education does not have to be only religious, it should equip a person with science, literature and the social sciences. But at the same time we should provide our youth with the tools of moral education, self-restraint coupled with religious guidance so that they become morally upright human beings. For setting the standards of morality in a particular society a question that arises is: Who decides on what is morally right or wrong? Should our conscience determine what actions are morally right and wrong? Or is it the religion of that culture which draws the lines? These are the pertinent questions that underpin the philosophical debate on morality. However, what is beyond any question is setting a good example for youngsters. First and foremost, do we have good morals ourselves to raise our children to be empathetic, caring, and moral people? Can morality thrive in any society that does not uphold universal cross cultural beliefs such as thou shall not indulge in corruption or bribery, exploit or trade falsehood, work with deception, favoritism and nepotism, etc? Our faith has put much emphasis on family and assigned parents a duty to play a leading role in their children’s upbringing and moral education. When children cannot discriminate good from evil, and are not equipped to defend themselves against a corrupt environment it primarily reflects parents’ irresponsibility. Teachers have a vital role also towards the building of character, moral education, and disciplinary supervision in extra-curricular activities of their wards. But the parent or teacher who displays immoral behavior in their personal life will find it impossible to teach the children morality by just instructing them on what to do or not to do? Friends and companions exercise profound influence on each other especially during childhood and teenage stages. Close bonding and friendship with corrupt people greatly influences the mind, thinking and behavior. Hence, it is important to keep children away from spoiled friends and companionships. The governance of any state is a public trust, which the administrators owe to the general public at large. The aim of the state is not only to administer justice and provide security and protection for all citizens, but also to supervise their education institutions such as schools, colleges, universities, etc, and encourage law enforcing agencies towards prevention of social evils like substance abuse, immoral human trafficking, eve teasing or drunken reckless driving, etc. But at the end of the day the ultimate responsibility for acquiring fabric of morality lies with the individual.