The words values, virtues and morals are fast becoming endangered aspects of our changing society that seem to have more time for what my wife would describe as 'bread and butter', a euphemism for material things. I was having one of those weekend with a bit of a writer's block having being busy working on a research work, but then I took time off to read some of my favourites blogs, with no particular preference I went on to NIL and it didn't disappoint to reawaken my writer's instinct to reflect. Without repeating the story that generated a lot of interest on the blog, it exposed the fading values of contentment which made me to also reflect about the message of the sermon in church on Sunday. The priest reminded us about having a moral compass that is based on faith.
The trouble with morality based on faith is the church itself is becoming morally bankrupt and you wonder how it can continue to be a custodian of a moral code. I'll shed more light on how I think the church seem to be losing the plot ~ it is common knowledge that some churches are in the vanguard of promoting 'prosperity' to a level that has never been seen before. I have nothing against anyone seeking or doing things to have a 'better' life but I have an issue when it is not done in a way that puts things into perspective. I have difficulty reconciling the fact that a man will live in affluence at the expense of some of his followers who live in poverty. Is there not a danger that the messages of values, virtues and morality could well be diluted to promote a more populist message of get-rich or die-hard trying? Sometimes it reminds me of Guyana Tragedy, a movie I watched many years ago based on the November 1978 mass suicide of 913 people at the South American religious "colony" of Jonestown. Perhaps a topic for another day but the point I'm trying to make is that if a part of society that is supposed to be a beacon for moral compass is itself fast losing ground then we do have a problem.
It would be unfair and simplistic to lay on the door steps of the church all of society's problem which is clearly not what I'm doing or intend doing been a christian myself. This is where family and individual responsibility becomes very important. Unfortunately the challenges of modern times leading to increasing breakdown in family values; schools that have been stripped of any power of discipline and good behaviour; and society, both western and Nigeria, I have to say that celebrates mediocrity, have meant that personal responsibility is sadly a commodity that is in very short supply these days.
But I'm hopeful ~ hopeful that we are gradually reaching a tipping point where we need to undo the many wrongs that has led us to where we are. I say this as a father of two young children and also for every child out there, for whom I constantly worry about the world they will grow into. A world on one hand that preaches hardwork and education as pre-requisite for success and on the other hand turns a blind eye to ill-gotten wealth, reinforcing the mantra 'the end justifies the means'. The words of the holy scripture which states "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Pr22:6) are very much still there as a starting point to act as a springboard in restoring values, virtues and morals but ofcourse only if we are prepared to use them.
image source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-therapist-is-in/200811/virtue-therapy-right-actions-create-right-feelings/comments