In the past, many of our youths took their studies and education more serious than this present time. They were truthful, good-mannered and responsible. Their commitment to studies was noticeable and result-oriented. Majority of the youths do not engage in bad acts like smoking, hard drugs, fraud, thievery, examination malpractices, abduction, fornication and other harmful behaviours. The few ones that took part in bad deeds were not embraced, recognised or honoured. Violent crimes and financial crimes were not as much as we have today. The crime waves were minimal, unsophisticated and could be brought under control by various security agencies.
In the school, the brilliant and well-behaved students were the models of other pupils. Education was totally mixed with godliness, and the result of these was positive. The God-fearing learned people were the products of the institutions the world over. All the spheres of human life were dominated by God-conscious individuals who acted wisely and positively for the common good.
In those days, people do not worship wealth and luxurious things. The slogan at those harmonious times was “God name is better than gold and silver”. Good character was the basis of self-esteem. People with good characters were well-respected. The few that had unlawful wealth were not honoured, instead, they were marginalised. The criterion for social dignity was moral uprightness. This made the youths in those days clinched to moral correctness. They considered correctitude as a stepping stone to attaining purposeful living, social status and meaningful lives.
Unfortunately, the story has changed nowadays. Some social factors have eroded the focus of people on moral rightness as a key to a successful life. Moral correctness has been thrown into the backyard. Many people no longer respect those who have good morals unless if such people were lucky to be wealthy, and this was not common in most cases. Today vast majority of people respect rich men without bothering about how they amassed their riches.
We can all see the effects of this in our society today. Majority of our youths crave for riches and luxuries to the extent that they are willing and ready to engage in the shadiest deals, evils and acts of terrorism to get money. Due to this, many youths landed in jails, hospitals or mortuaries in the course of their emulous desire for wealth. Our society is restless as evils continue to spread like wildfire.
We need to attach great significance to having good morals and also look critically into the causes of restiveness in the world today.
In a very true sense, a poor man with noble characters is far better than a wealthy man who gathered his wealth through dubious, deceitful and sly means. A morally upright poor man will never harm or damage another man’s life, but the reverse is the case for anyone who is desperate in money-making.
Let’s think of how the coming generations would be if we continue like this.
By Rasheed Olayemi Nojeem