I came across news about 3 incidents which happened in the recent past ; they are 3 very different types of incidents , happened in 3 different cities and yet something struck me as a common thread running through them all .
It is not important to recount vivid details of what happened , for reference I just do a quick recap here :
(i) 4 Young college going friends died in Bangalore in car crash in what appears a case of reckless driving (ii) Accident which happened in a road tunnel in Jaipur , where many cars passed without stopping by the dead body of the lady killed in an accident (iii) Recent gang rape in Delhi … victim lying below flyover with passersby not bothering to help .
Many disturbing questions in the aftermath …. Who’s responsible for the death of students in the car crash …… the students themselves for reckless driving or their Parents who thought giving car was a better gift than the wisdom to handle it in a responsible manner ?
Why is it easy for us to quietly slip through in the comfortable confines of our car than stop by to help a dying woman on the road ?
What has blunted our senses , our sensibilities & our values that we are no longer moved to help a hapless crime victim lying on the road ?
Are we unfit for community living or are we completely insensitive to what is happening around , as long as it does not affect us as an individual or as a family ?
Were we always like that or are we changing ( for worse ) ?
The evolution of grey matter over my head reminds me that we were NOT always like this . We were probably not as uncaring , as insensitive , as self centered , with uncouth / unruly social behaviour as some of the recent incidents bear out .
What has caused this change . It is not unreasonable to believe that neither our physical constitution nor genetic composition has changed much . Neither our education level or Urbanisation or so called Prosperity has dwindled .
Yes may be our ‘ Wealth quotient ‘ has gone up & as a trade off our ‘ Values quotient ‘ has deteriorated . The ‘ Value transition ‘ across generations seem to have diluted from what my & prior to my generations have received from their elders . Sense of right / wrong , sense of social consciousness , society living , mutual respect , human dignity has seen rapid deterioration .
If we are unhappy at what is going around our society , especially in our social behaviour …. We need to think hard as to who is responsible – where is the root cause . It is not the children / young generation , but their parents who are fully responsible for the outcome we see on the road . We can’t blame children for not displaying something ( discipline , social behaviour ) that they don’t know . we can’t hold them responsible for not knowing what they don’t know , because we didn’t tell them .
If we think that today’s generation has lost sense of what is right / what is wrong , it’s their parents who have failed miserably to develop the sense of discretion in them in the formative years — Parents have failed because they did not have time or mind space for transmitting Values , because that time & mind space was fully occupied with a single minded pursuit of amassing wealth in an illusion as the only asset they thought their children need
This sense of right / wrong , social consciousness is not ‘ innate ‘ , nobody carries it through genetic inheritance … this is a matter of habit formation , which intrinsically means that someone elder need to imbibe this into growing children , need to orient them , equip them to grow into alert , sensitive , responsible citizens .
Unfortunately when we are proving our superior aping ability to copy Western lifestyle , we have not copied from them the good values like Discipline , Work ethics , Community living , Human dignity .
Who needs to do this ? In growing up phase two biggest exposures & hence influencers for a child are : Home & School . Schools never had it on agenda — it’s not really an academic curriculum – It was Parents ( Grandparents in Joint families ) who used to do that . Today’s parents , like for everything else they do , seem to have ‘ outsourced ‘ this responsibility of inculcating social / moral values to no one . With money becoming common substitute for all our emotions and expressions , there is no space for Values , parents have ‘ no time ‘ for this .
Finally we as Parents need to introspect as to what do we really want to give to our next generation in inheritance …. Is it only Money / material wealth ….but then even the next generation is capable of making lots of money . Or is it the Values / “ Sanskaars ” that we want to gift — Helping children develop a sense of right / wrong , to be able to grow as responsible citizen of this country , a responsible community person ?
In sum if we feel there is deterioration in our social behaviour & we need to change it — I’m fully convinced that we need to hit at the root cause . To create Responsible citizens of tomorrow we need to first develop Responsible Parents —- What do you feel ?