by Umair Khan
Major changes in our society
|All of us, rich and poor, are at the decay of our society. We have stained our environment and misused our social systems to the point where society's continued existence is very much in doubt. The continuing effects of global warming, overpopulated cities, growing hunger and poverty will tear apart the very foundation of civilization. Disorder and war such as the world has never seen will sweep across the face of this planet.
Though what exactly constitutes moral decay is debatable, one group traditionally has been singled out for criticism, namely young people, particularly the youthful challengers to the establishment. The difference in generational conduct has almost always been seen as threatening to tradition, and this view has been accentuated in our lifetime by the segregated status of the young from the old, and the growth of a commercial youth culture. Peer group pressure is much stronger on today's teenagers than it was in earlier times, if only because young people remain in school and do not usually enter the workplace in any serious way until much later in life.
To me, morality means giving of one's self, putting aside our self interests for the common good of all. However, if in fact such things as honor, courtesy, pride, respect, sacrifice, courage, dedication, commitment, loyalty, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and professionalism, are adjectives of the past, then we are indeed witnessing the moral decay of our society. Actually, it's rather remarkable we have progressed as far as we have as a species, but it makes you wonder how much farther we would be if we had the moral fortitude to overcome greed, corruption, and other vices. As Samuel Clemens correctly observed, "Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."
Years ago, Arnold Toynbee said succinctly, "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder," meaning our social problems are actually self inflicted. If we can cause the problems, I would like to believe we are strong enough to solve them, regardless of the price to be paid. Going back to my friend's problem, what is needed is a little inspiration, hope, belief in ourselves, a little brother/sisterhood, and a legal system that doesn't stifle morality, but rather promotes it. Regardless of the magnitude of the job, from major to menial, workers must believe they are leading an honorable and worthwhile life. There is nothing wrong with ambition, as long as it doesn't lead to incessant politics. There is nothing wrong with personal achievement/recognition, as long as teamwork doesn't suffer. There is nothing wrong with criticism, as long as it's constructive, not destructive. Basically, we just need some common sense and respect for the human spirit.
So, the question comes down to this; Do we still possess the fortitude to do what is morally right? That is a question for each of us to answer and for our heirs to judge.