Who Is To Blame?
The moral decadence in our society has reached such a level that calls for concern. The young ones and leaders of tomorrow do not show respect to the elders. They engage in all sorts of anti-social behavior injurious to the society. Any society that is not morally sound is bound to witness all sorts of social menace. Moral values are found in our religion, culture and traditions yet our youth, for one reason or the other are not that religious. They consider our indigenous culture outdated and our traditions barbaric. Therefore they queue up to embrace westernization in its totality; abandoning our indigenous culture and tradition entirely, thereby losing their identity.
Now that the issue has reached an alarming rate and as it is the tradition in our dear country whenever an issue arises, we point accusing fingers and play the blame game instead of brainstorming on how best to tackle the problem. Some blame the parents, some point accusing fingers at the media while others believe it’s the youth who are responsible for their behavior or misbehavior.
Whichever of them you think is responsible, you may be right and as well be wrong for the following reasons;
Parents are responsible for training their children and teaching them compassion, respect as well as acceptable do’s and don’ts in line with societal values and religious dictates. As such, they become responsible for the action or inaction, behavior and attitudes of their children towards others from childhood to maturity.
If a child behaves well, people conclude that the child is from a disciplined home and if they behave otherwise, people fault the parents for not properly training the child. You hear people complain “didn’t your parents teach you this?” or “didn’t your parents teach you that?”
The unfortunate thing now is that parents abandon these responsibilities. For example in working class families, the fathers and mothers go to work in the morning when the children are going to school. The mother will not comeback home till 5pm and the father till 9pm.
These children comeback from school and have the whole house to themselves. They do whatever they like, with whatever they like and however they like. This is not because they are alone, but because the house-help was instructed by madam and Oga to play nice with the kids. Should she do otherwise, she stands the risk of getting fired. Or maybe there was no such instruction but she herself wasn’t trained properly.
So what is she going to teach them? Imagine asking someone to give what they never had!
Now let’s examine the media. The role of the media in society is to inform, educate, entertain and serve as the watch-dog of the society. Unfortunately, it is no longer so. The entertainment industry for example through music videos, movies and some publications have successfully polluted the minds of the youth and promoted indecent dressing, drinking alcohol and other dangerous intoxicants, smoking, and jamborees among others.
Such youth model their lives in accordance with any of their favorite actors, actresses, musicians, models and the like. This reminds me of the hypodermic needle theory and the bullet theory of mass communication which says that all the media needs to do is to send a message and the receivers will respond accordingly.
They therefore dress, talk, walk, and misbehave like their unworthy role models with the highest sense of justification. This may include not paying attention to school or drop out of the school, and worst of all dedicating their most productive stage of life to temporary fun. What a mistake. For those who blame the youth, here’s your score. Some children are good liars and perfect pretenders. They act and behave like saints in the house and become demons the moment they step out of it. It is universally believed that once a child is 18 years of age, he or she can think and make decisions, discern between truth and false, right and wrong, good and bad and so on. But the truth is, they need guidance and counselling of the old in order to avoid making an ill-conceived decisions the repercussion of which may not be faced by the individual alone.
The time for blame game is over, and each and every one concerned should take up their responsibilities. Parents, no matter how busy you may be, find time to train your children to be the good children you want. The media should be socially responsible to the society and promote morals and values found in our indigenous culture and traditions. Whereas the youth need reorientation and these includes compassion, respect, tolerance and understanding.
Above all, it must be understood that training the youth is a collective responsibility of the members of the society. If you train only your children, my untrained children whom are friends and go to school, mosque or church, play and socialize together can spoil your trained children. By joining hands together we can achieve morally sound society that we can be proud to call home.
Mr. Ikechukwu Anozie (Parent)