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Importance of good values

Just a few days ago, I had the privilege of speaking to two awesome women in regards to the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8. After all the formality and interview was over, the three of us were having a chat about random topics which eventually led to us talking about the importance of inculcating good values to the younger generations.

Both are career women who are experienced mothers and one of them brought up her thoughts on how youngsters’ lack good values to which they both believe is due to the lack of education, to which I wholly agree. I hope that you readers don’t get me wrong. When I speak of education, it isn’t just the daily 7am to 1pm education which children is getting in school but the most important ones in life which are good behaviour and attitude.

This topic is something I feel to be somewhat sensitive because in my opinion, children and youngsters only act they way they do due to the influences of the people they spent time with the most and that usually means they pick up the behaviours from their own parents. No one I know would like to be told that their child has bad behaviour because it’s an insult to them as parents as well. Before you continue reading this, I wish to express that it is not my intention to offend anyone but I am merely stating things I’ve seen. I may not know the whole story behind the actions of the people I’ve seen and I do not claim that I do. If I have offended you, I sincerely apologise.

Children are quick learners and their best teachers are the examples set by people they are close to. They learn how to talk to others through observing the actions of their parents and peers. If a little boy observes that his father tends to talk loudly and rudely to other people, it is likely that the boy might feel that it is alright to act the same way. It’s not something new but it seems that people may have forgotten that their actions actually do bring an effect and impact on those closest to them.

I recalled about a case where I witnessed a little boy stealing some decorative items from a cafe in a mall. The boy’s father was standing behind him and watching the entire act but instead of telling the boy to return the taken item, he encouraged his son to take more if he wanted to. Through this act, it shows what kind of values which the father is imparting to his son. The boy could grow up and continue to steal bigger things. Thinking of the possibilities, it could be possible that the boy could be caught by the police but it’s possible that he might not know that his actions are wrong all due to the encouragement he had received from his father as a child.

Another thing that was brought up during the informal discussion was that there is a need to impart proper values on young boys. Girls are always the ones being told since young to not dress too skimpily or it would lead to getting raped. I think that this should be working both ways as boys should also be taught not to assault or rape girls. There shouldn’t be a gender boundary when imparting values. The least we could do is try not to be so gender biased and teach both boys and girls what should or should not be done.

There is a limit to how careful an individual can be but if there are still attackers out there, there is bound to be victims. There are reported cases of girls who were attacked were not even dressed skimpily and the only person to blame is the attacker. Even if boys and girls are in a relationship and the girl ends up getting pregnant, it will not be the boys who are to blame because the girl will be the one carrying the “shameful aftermath” of their actions. The girl would have to live ostracised from everyone else because of what happened. In this day and age, we should no longer condone the “boys will be boys” mentality where boys are allowed to get away with almost anything just because of their gender.

Imparting the right values will not do harm to anyone. Sure, it may take a lot of effort but if you are not able to handle that, maybe you’re just not ready to be parents. It’s not enough for the teachers in school to teach the children about moral studies several hours weekly. We all have to play our part. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

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