Children are not born with an understanding of their society’s
Therefore, parents have to play a vital role in inculcating good
values in the minds of their children. It is these values that will lay
the foundation towards their moral development as they grow into
There are different stages of moral development. As children, they
enter the pre-conventional stage of moral understanding. When they grow
into adults they enter the stage of conventional moral understanding.
Those who make it to this stage, think in terms of their duty to others,
in order to promote the greater good. They engage themselves in
unselfish, honest, sincere and lawful behaviours.
I always admire my parents and my grandparents for the duties they
perform for others, at times even towards people who do not show concern
towards them. If anyone needs help they will go all out to do the
needful. They never miss out on their duties towards others, despite
their busy schedules. I admire them for extending their generous support
to society at all times.
As we move out into the real world we will be exposed to a lot of
unhealthy values that can contradict with what we were taught at home.
However, if good values have been instilled in us in our childhood, they
will motivate our behaviour even if we are surrounded by a corrupt
During my childhood I was also inculcated with good values that have
helped me today to keep away from evil and protect myself in the real
world. I also wish to focus on the children who may take a very long
time to reach this conventional stage of moral understanding, and
therefore grow up to be adults who have the moral understanding of
After a particular point in life they .... develop into anti-social
personalities. However, once they reach the conventional stage of moral
understanding, they will put into practice all values that have been
implanted in them during their childhood.
When considering the final stage of moral understanding, which is the
post-conventional stage, I wish to cite all persons who discard their
sense of duty, to the requirements of others in society. In recent
times, we witnessed the way the social welfare workers and journalists
put their lives at risk to serve the displaced in the wartorn areas.
Similarly, I recall all the leaders and soldiers of our nation who
sacrificed their lives to bring freedom to our motherland. But, how many
of us today can even spare five minutes of the day to serve others?
Even those who have entered the stage of conventional and
post-conventional stages of moral understanding have overlooked many
aspects of moral behaviour. Those who have grown up with wrong moral
values will engage in dishonest, selfish, unlawful and unacceptable
behaviour despite their stage of moral understanding. They overlook
their concern for others. Just think of the number of accidents that
have taken place in our country in the past.
The cause of these accidents is simply the failure of drivers to
abide by the road rules and regulations and their disregard of the other
road users. What about the spread of dengue? If every household took
responsibility of keeping their premises cleaned, wouldn’t the spread of
dengue be much less? However, it seems as if most people are not
concerned about the impact of their own actions on others.
It is also very common to hear that domestics are being ill treated
in many homes. The kind of treatment that Sri Lankan housemaids receive
overseas is especially beyond one’s imagination. What values have caused
these adults to behave in such a brutal manner? These criminal actions
have even resulted in a number of deaths, suicides and other physical
and mental injuries to these labourers.
Also, child abuse, violation of children’s rights, abusing of women,
disrespect towards adults and parents, alcohol and drug abuse among
teens are amongst the behaviour of those who have not been taught good
Therefore it is important to foster good morals and values in the
minds of children that will help them to be lawful and caring citizens
of the nation.