CAUSES : Moral values for today

Moral values cannot be taught by just preaching. We need to set an example. Only if we are good human beings ourselves can we bring up the next generation correctly.

As young children most of us would have studied Moral Science as a subject. Stories that ended with a moral were narrated to children and they were asked to relate it to their lives.† With changing times, Moral Science is no longer taught in schools. As we bring up a generation that is increasingly materialistic and self-oriented, how does one imbibe moral values like truth, honesty, hard work and respect in them?

For starters, we should stop saying yes to everything.† In many a case, working parents feel guilty for not spending enough time with their children and try to make it up by fulfilling all their wants and desires. This is not right. Children need to learn to differentiate between needs and wants. Plus if they get everything just by asking, they donít respect their possessions. The most expensive toy does not hold their attention for more than a week. Then it can be found lying in one corner of a shelf among innumerable others.Itís better if children earn their toys /privileges by doing chores around the house which convert into brownie points. They are bound to value it more.

†Another good idea is if you can organize play dates where each child gets a toy that others can play with too. This also teaches children to share. While earlier possessions belonged to the family as a whole, today itís all about me and mine. Sharing is a major issue with most children these days. Joining sharing libraries is another way to pass on the concept to them.

A very important moral we need to teach the next generation is honesty and truthfulness. This is easier said than done. Without realizing it, there are many instances when we lie about small things. Children notice this and the message they get is this is ok. In any case most TV serials have some scheming character or the other. As far as possible, avoid watching these with your children. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Your children will respect your honesty.

Teach your children to respect others. There could be differences in any family; but refrain from discussing it in front of the kids. You might not like your mother in law, but sheís still their grandmother. Teach your children to be polite to their elders by being polite yourself. And not just to friends and family, but also to your hired help and waiters and shopkeepers. We all learnt to mind our Pís and Qís. Itís time for generation next to do the same.

Moral values cannot be taught by just preaching. We need to set an example. Only if we are good human beings ourselves can we bring up the next generation correctly.

The capacity to grasp values, to affirm them, and to respond to them, is the foundation of SHRI.To a large extent our cultural settings shapesus, and its values imprint themselves on our work culture.