Protecting the family structure
There is growing concern throughout the world over what is generally perceived as a massive failure in placing proper values for a healthy society above greed, power and dominance.
There are too many regimes that thrive through brutal military power, ripping apart families and leaving children with no parents, many suffering emotional and physical damage, and loss of faith in a world they feel has no regard for their welfare.
Under such circumstances, the very foundation for a peaceful society — the family — continues to disintegrate. An otherwise promising young mind, without vital positive guidance, becomes vulnerable to evil elements that are always seeking new recruits.
Globally, families have always struggled to teach proper values for living early. However, in today’s fast-moving world of electronic interaction on a scale never seen before, the flow of good and bad material places young, developing minds at greater risk. In many cases, with so many young people with gadgets to send and receive information, many parents are totally in the dark when it comes to knowing who their children are communicating with. It boils down to children and parents under the same roof, but in different worlds.
Tragically, in a number of large countries including the United States, some young people are right in the home and engaged in deadly plots to take innocent lives, without parents picking up a hint of their intentions. The potential for this to happen increases when cyberspace communication outweighs basic face-to-face conversation within the family, on values essential for positive living.
That is a crucial problem in America, where easy access to guns is an issue that no one, including the President is able to solve. It should be pointed out that even in countries with strict gun controls, the family can ill afford to let their guard down. The real danger for much of the world is that too many young minds are lost as result of a wide range of conditions, which diminish the ability for the family to function as a unit in building character and good citizens.
Perhaps in every troublespot in the world, and there are many, children fall victim to evil perpetrated by adults, and in areas of military conflict, countless stories of suffering are lost in a pile of smoking rubble.
It is a tragedy for which the United Nations, despite endless meetings and debates, has yet to produce a solution. Much of the world can only watch as every young mind lost paves the way for some to seek revenge without any thought of who they hurt.
In Bermuda we are fortunate to have a limited population, and a relatively peaceful environment that most Bermudians are proud of. However, even with significant progress in most areas of community life, Bermudians are concerned about acts of violence and hostile attitudes, especially on our roads. The Government is aware that there are no easy answers to the amount of distractions, including alcoholism, illegal drugs and violent crime. But they must know the family structure has weakened in areas of discipline and in teaching values such as respect, honesty and decency.
While many blame an atmosphere filled with stress as reasons for failures in the home in trying to make ends meet, unless every effort is made to stay focused on values, the stress will be even greater for the next generation.
There needs to be greater emphasis on character building, while seeking success in a world where there is so much attention on getting ahead at any cost.
The success of any country could very well depend on the strength of the family structure and whether leaders regard the family as the foundation for society. Countries should then do everything to promote good family values.
A child is usually taught right from wrong in the family setting. At least that should be the case.
It will never be a perfect world, but with stronger families, the potential for producing better citizens could help in creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
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