Rape, terrorism and partying is robbing us of a tomorrow

We don't enjoy picnics by the waterside, or appreciate rosy sunsets as those before us.

 |  3-minute read |   18-01-2016
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Every generation has its own defining moments and every individual has his own perceptions, interpretations and dogmas which he eventually evolves for the kind of circumstances he is faced with.

Not long ago, before the explosion of social media, and changing patterns of life, families sat together, picnics were pleasant amidst the beauty of nature and life involved a lot of adventure which brought people the closest to nature, but today, the discourse has changed.

The wisdom that has grown over centuries has now been replaced by developments of the recent decades. Our generation is in peril.

Countries have come together to recognise that climate action is now on the brink, we have come to realise that healthcare is becoming more expensive, the economy is in a downward spiral, terrorism is affecting every nation and jeopardising the lives of young people who are yet to discover a world beyond themselves.

While these stakes involve governance, at a more personal level, it is important to recover values. It is more necessary now than ever before to create social wealth that puts us back on the roads which we have missed.

It is very sad that ours is a generation that cannot enjoy picnics by the waterside, appreciate rosy sunsets and watch the chirping of birds as often as the previous generation did. What is more painful is that the culture of pubs and parties obviously including alcohol and smoke has spoiled the lives of millions of children who call themselves independent. They do not recognise the risk they put themselves into, but along with that they also put others into difficulty.

Also read: How I came to realise the worth of life

Parents have a job to do; merely providing money isn't doing good enough to create a more secure future. They need to channelise and orient the thoughts of their children. Morals can't be damned, values can't be lost. Creating this kind of a future isn't going to be easy, but it isn't difficult either.

Everyone thinks what they do is appropriate until it works otherwise for them. The traditional values of personal responsibility to themselves and to those who mean the world to them, those of hard work, optimism and faith have to be rediscovered.

Divorce rates have risen; incidences of infidelity have increased and family union is at risk. The Holy Father, Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si says, "Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home provided we halt this throwaway culture."

While we may make money that is enough to lead a more comfortable life, it does not bring happiness in a deeper context. What can bring lasting peace and joy is families living together, children exercising restraint and safeguarding their values and becoming more responsible citizens of this world.

All the publicity, the fame, the richness, the cool things will not matter in the long-run or the short-run.

As a society, we are growing more intolerant and we witness incidences of parents killing children and vice versa, professors raping students, police killing civilians, educated minds promoting hatred and religious leaders trying their best to tear apart humanity in the name of god.

With all these attributes through which we grow, what hits hard is social wealth. What we need to realise is the importance to coexist, to learn from and adjust with people. We need to acknowledge that in our differences lies our greatest strength and we need to find common grounds to discover the "new" together.

Writer

Edmond Fernandes Edmond Fernandes @edmondfernandes

Dr Edmond Fernandes is CEO, Centre for Health and Development, Mangaluru, Karnataka.

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