17 January 2012

I was listening to a message about the great Titanic. Interesting to learn that this great and mighty ship was named after the titans. Anyone who has watched the movie identifies with the agony those on board went through when that mighty ship took the final plunge into the ocean. It was a horrific moment in history to watch all those people struggle not to go into the ocean. Must have been worse in real life to hear all the screams of people trying to keep alive in the harsh icy waters of the ocean.

This message I listened to gave me an altogether new view of what really happened then. Says that there had been a warning to the captain of the maiden ship of an iceberg  ahead. Perhaps the message was not received on time or was ignored, we do not know. But the result of that one unrelayed message cost the lives of over 1500 people. People who had the opportunity to take the maiden trip on the largest ship afloat much to their peril.

It brings to mind the effect of unheaded warnings in our lives. Many are the times we get the red signals not just about the direction we are taking in our lives but also those of the society we live in. I have previously brought to attention the danger of the lifestyle of the youth in our society. Not much is being done to bring back our youth to sanity. It looks like society is resigned to letting our young people go to the dogs.

Sad thing when a society like ours does not care about a group that constitutes over half it's population and is viewed as the future of the society. The blame lies in not just in the youth but in the older folk who have left their young ones to themselves with no clear guidelines on how to go about life. And as a result of the void in the young people's lives they take anything that comes their way no reservations.

What we have told our youth is all just wrong. That it is well to just go with it and have some fun. Not knowing who it is that is in this with them. Some of the worst influence is found in the unending search for fun they engage in. And it doesnt matter that a few parents do all they can to make sure their kids turn out right because these kids still encounter others who have no holds barred. No telling what they get to learn from them.

And so it should concern us all seeing as to how our young people are falling prey to materialism and unlimited fun at whatever cost. It bothers me that these are the same people that we look to holding top jobs in the future and key responsible positions in society. Now if these people have no sense of responsibility and morals then just what kind of legacy are we looking at here. Goes without telling that these are people who will instil the same kind of values to upcoming generations and before we know it we will be a people whose morals stink to high heaven.

Top on your and my mind should be that no matter how well brought up kids we bring up if those around us are not making effort in the same direction then we are none the safer. And so what we need are efforts to provide ways for the highly charged youth in our society to channel their energy into instead of doing all the wrong things. Years back it was necessary for any young person going to campus to go through the National Youth Service. If you ask me this programme should not have been scrapped but enhanced for all the young people in the country. It was an excellent way to expose these young people to the harsh realities of life so that they came out of it with the necessary check on their actions and the knowledge of  real life out of the cradle.

I have heard it said that if you want to break a man you take him through a tumultous time and he will come out renewed. Community service especially among the less fortunate does wonders to anyone who has their priorities in life all wrong and may not be in appreciation of just how worse life could get if they are not responsible enough. It is in the service of others that we get to know our real self.

For those who may have taken the wrong turn in their lives all may not be lost yet. We need to have rehabilitation centres so that these people can regain control of their lives and live independently. I read with interest a story in the local dailies of a prisoner who went in for theft but has learnt useful skills while in there. He is even grateful of the opportunity he has had to enhance his skills and the discipline to be able to work for himself. It may not be a very attractive venture trying to teach responsibility to the youth but years later they will thank us for it.

Above all, it is our responsibility to ensure that we leave behind a generation that can sustain itself. This is our God-given responsibility and as leaders, parents and a society we need to embrace it with the seriousness it entails. Only then will we boast of having done a good job at passing on good morals to the young ones thus fulfilling our moral obligation to our young ones and the society at large.

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