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Who is mentoring who in our societies today?

Who is mentoring who in our societies today?
Photo Credit: UNICEF Benin/ 2011/Xanthopoulos

By Nana Yaw Preko Bimpeh, a Journalist

Our elders say,  if a child is in your womb,  it belongs to you alone or better still, it is yours alone. But when the child is born, he or she becomes everyone’s child and therefore belongs to everyone. This adage reinforces the age-old belief that he or she can be corrected by any elder or person in society. That was the practice of ages. Today, that collective and shared responsibility to nurture our young ones in our societies is incredibly no more. These many believe and say are responsible for the moral decadence, violence, disrespect for the elderly and increase in social vices we find today in society.  Today you could be tagged as too strict, stern, tough or difficult and certain euphemistic expressions used to describe you, when you act strict or lay stringent measures for your children to observe. It is extremely difficult to fathom who is wrong or right in this current dispensation of child upbringing in our societies. The youth are on the treadmill of resistance.

Our universities have turned into fashion institutions, instead of knowledge-imparting and grooming institutions.

Our secondary schools have become cradles for all manner of unworthiness, due to the fallen standards in children’s upbringing. Male children walk around in saggy pants and in all kinds of caricature dressings and lifestyles, as their female counterparts gallivant about with their breasts and cleavages showing, with their skirts shorter than the shortest verse in the scriptures. Some people in leadership positions and authority are adding zero to zeros and are engaging in all sorts of unscrupulous deals. If some Chiefs and Elders are not selling the same land to different people, they are leasing it to foreigners, who pollute our water bodies and decimate the  natural resources with careless abandon.

Adding fire to the depravity we find ourselves today, is the subculture of communal violence we have unleashed against each other. We are daily recording human slaughter on our streets through vehicular accidents which could have been prevented.  Who is mentoring who in our societies today? Who is the behaviour model we can look up to, and ardently point to our children to study or learn from, just like we did some ages ago? Students are blaming teachers, teachers are also blaming parents. Whilst parents are blaming God and government, the rich and the poor are either blaming each other or the system. Who must take the blame?

If nobody wishes to submit to the situation, then appropriately we can say we have all sinned and fallen short of the standards and values our forebears willed to us. One illogical saying we lately hear, especially from parents, is, as for children of today, before you warn them of something, they have already encountered it or experienced it. But why wouldn’t we say as parents, we didn’t warn them early enough? When does or should strict upbringing start?  Is it not rather curious, that parents or couples would go to any length when in need of a child?  But sadly, when they are blessed with one, they leave that priceless gift they gave everything to, to the mercy of this immoral world. Some people have attributed the changes in moral values to modernity. Does modernity mean low standards or lack of principles? If it is so, why then have the Chinese, Japanese and Indians held keenly to their values and are not corrupted by the same modernity? There is a generic obligation on parents to train their children in the way they should go, so when they grow up, they will not depart from it. This statement places on us a heavenly duty to nurture our children as we would have expected our society to be. A former American President, Theodore Roosevelt posited, that if you train a  mind of a man, and not in morals, you train a menace into society.

Charity they say starts or begins from home. However, in our society today, it rather appears charity is beginning from outside our homes. Parents ought to set forth that deliberate objective of having to nurture their children well. As we pray for our wards to distinguish themselves academically, we should also challenge them to set themselves apart morally. In this Ghana month, we should remind ourselves of our invaluable heritage, let us not be oblivious of the core values that principally makes us Ghanaians. What can we point out to the outside world as uniquely Ghanaian?

Do we really represent the peace, harmony, hospitality, and God-fearing nation we preach and propound? Are we that hospitable to our fellow Ghanaians or just to foreigners or strangers?

Culture to a large extent, diversely is the values we represent as a people. It is imperative to add to what our forebears left for us and not dilute or corrupt them.

The man most people envy is not the man with many possessions, but the one, with good character.

It is more than riches.

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