It’s time to revisit our fundamental Social Values

What’s happening in the World and the communities around us????

Three major air disasters in a week killing hundreds of innocent passengers, number of sexual assaults in the city, including a rape of a six year old girl in the school campus by her teacher, all making July-2014 the worst month of the year. What these unfortunate incidents have left behind for us…?? Irreparable scars, worst memories, safety concerns and most importantly fear for the future. The only outcome from these incidents, which could give us a ray hope is, we all are coming together and joining hands to make world a better place to live. Will that happen…..? No one can answer it right away…but we all need to keep trying … Hopefully one lucky, sunny day we could be successful.

Such unfortunate incidents have a far reaching impact on our lives and our kids are no exception. Since last week my class kids have number of queries and comments about whatever happening around them. “It’s boring to stay at home aunty, it’s been days I am not going to the school.” said one student. “Something is going on in our school aunty, everyone is saying that the school teacher touched a six years old girl in a bad way.. I am scared to go to the school now..” added a seven year old student. “Nooo, on TV they are showing she was raped.” Interrupted an eight year old. “But what is rape aunty?” asked another student. “But why would a teacher do something like this aunty? Teachers are good…” added yet another student. These are the series of queries my class students are asking and unfortunately we parents don’t have appropriate answers for our kid’s questions, how to make them understand that not all people are bad, how to make them feel safe and how to make them believe that World is a beautiful place to live…. it is indeed a difficult/testing time for parents and kids both.

It’s not the first time we are hearing something unfortunate like this but it’s a human nature to not acknowledge it until we see the danger very close to us. Six year old girl was raped by a skating teacher in her school campus…. Just unimaginable…. Inhuman… how could someone act in such a heinous way… We consider schools/colleges, in fact all the educational institutions as temples where we get knowledge, learn different life skills, learn right from wrong, learn good behaviour, where we trust our teachers wholeheartedly & respect them like Gods but what is happening around us is way opposite than our belief. Then we realise the danger our children are exposed to.

Being a Parent I know & value the importance of child awareness about such abuses & preventive measures at an early age in fact I have been teaching students about the same in my classes and since the last week I am conducting many such child safety workshops too. Like other parents, I am equally concerned about my kids safety and want Government to take strict action against it and have uncompromising security laws in place. But can we solve this problem just by educating kids about the safety and by following the laws of the land??? In my opinion, along with these measures we need to give special emphasis on awareness about Social Values or Civic Values among people.

Years ago, while doing my management degree I had learned about the Social values and as such there is no specific agreed upon definition of social value but in general, Social value is a guide of behaviour approved in a given society. In short, Social values are unwritten laws of the society. Some of the fundamental (or basic-not changing with time) social values are honesty, Wellbeing, empathy, security, respect, trust etc… We all will agree that these social values are universal….But since past two decades, the society’s outlook and social values are changing drastically. Earlier simple living, respect, empathy, trust, family values etc were the highest morals but now wealth, luxury, selfishness, family breakdown, violence, crime, fame etc are shaping up our society.

I understand that with time, every society evolves and not all social values are seen equally but the fundamental social values remain the same and they are very important for any society. Now that we all are coming together and fighting for this cause, then why not we revisit our basic social values and spread the awareness about it among the people too.

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