Disrespect for authority endemic in society

first_imgReports of schoolchildren being hurt by fellow students or school drop-outs who attend school fund-raising activities are increasing in number. Many times bullies are left alone by authority figures, and depart the scenes of their attacks unharmed because there are no visible wounds on their victims. But what about the emotional and psychological scars those victim will have to cope with?Some children are lucky, in the sense that they have sensible and enlightened adults in their lives who can guide them safely through the murky waters of traumas. However, there are the parents and caregivers who find it difficult to cope with all the intricacies of the physical, social, emotional, and psychological traumas being endured by the child.There are many more victims of violence being perpetrated by young people all across the country – actually, all across the world — and it is recognised that this global phenomenon needs to be addressed holistically, with world leaders eschewing their petty squabbles to take their young people, who are the future human capital of any nation’s developmental paradigm, and channel their energies into constructive mechanisms for personal and national development and growth. But it needs to begin with the family, and a restoration of the value systems and moral compass of years past.The peoples of Guyana, although their ancestors spanned racial and cultural divides, shared one common tradition: absolute respect for one’s elders, who were integral to the survival and sustenance of the individual family and the community in general.The village elder system of jurisprudence prevailed within British Guiana village enclaves over the system as prescribed by the British Constitution; and, until now, the ‘Panchaayat’ system holds sway over rural communities in India and Africa before the more formalised court system of justice is sought.Within homes and families, the elders were the one who guided the family in their daily pursuits, and they had the final say in decisions involving the family. That respect the younger members of a family and community had for their elders has been gradually eroding, until it has almost dissipated – although not absolutely, because there are yet some families who adhere stringently to old traditions.Unless and until governments, through their educational systems; communities, through their church bodies and other social constructs; and families can come together and formulate a holistic plan to address this ever-widening chasm — which is separating the youths of today from the value systems of the societal framework that inculcated ethical values and moral compasses as guides to behavioural patterns that outline and dictate the way they should interact with authority figures, their peers, and elders within their communities — the degradation of value systems within the younger generation will soon cross irredeemable boundaries, and the consequences to society would be too frightening to contemplate.Now is the time to re-evaluate the statistical data and societal paradigms that have created such a deceleration of traditional value systems; before there is an irretrievable moral standardisation that infests the young generation with decay that festers in the minds to the extent that they lose all sense of the humane and their own groundings in humanity.last_img