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Sunday, 30 August 2009

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Children are not born with an understanding of their society’s morals.

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 adulthood.

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 society.

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 children.

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 moral values.

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.

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