YOUTH AND MORALITY

Afehomo O. J.

Youths are vibrant individuals, full of life, agile, they are like the fresh leaves on a tree that gives it its beauty. According to the online oxford learners dictionary, youth is the time of life between childhood and maturity. The national youth development plan of 2001 defines youth as “young persons of age 18-35 years who are citizens of the federal republic of Nigeria. The united nations general assembly identifies a youth with the age bracket of 18-34 years, while the danish youth council places youths in the the bracket of age 15-34 years. Other groups and persons also have their own definition as regard youth. From the above definitions you will discover that youths are not really a set of youth persons as we sometimes thinks when will hear the word youth.

Morality, what comes to the mind first when you hear this word is morals, value. Morality originated from the Latin word ‘moralitas’ meaning manner, character, characteristic. That is, of a person it is likened to a good character. According to the online oxford learners dictionary, morality is concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right and wrong conduct. In consonance with Aminigo and Nwaokugha (2006); morality is an accepted code of human conduct in a society.

Now looking at the above definitions of youth and morality; Can we be bold to say our youths of this generation have good morality? Is morality decreasing in our youth as the years go by? How as lack of morality affected our youth and the society at large? Do parents/ guardians, schools, societies playing their distinct roles to imbibe good morals in our youth? Can our youth even differentiate morality from immorality? While we ponder on those questions, let’s briefly take a look at the various bodies that are suppose to imbibe good morals in our youth and how they have failed in their duties.


Parents/ guardians: This is the first place were child/ youth are groom to become responsible individual. Just like is written in the bible ( Prov 22:6) train up a child in the way he should go and when is old, he will not depart from it. This same saying goes with the youth as if they are not trained well in their childhood it will affect them when they are grown up. It pains me to say that majority of the parents/ guardians of this generation had failed in their responsibility of teaching their children good morals, ethnic and values instead u hear them saying ‘ oh I waited years before I could give birth or am not that blessed in child bearing. In the olden days training of a child was the collective responsible of the society. Therefore, is the sole responsibility of the parents/,guardians to train their children so that has they advances in age they will also advance in wisdom and morality.


School: This is another institute where youth learn almost virtually everything they know. But this institute has been affected negatively by modernization or will I say western education? Where punishment of students is now a taboo. If you look dip into the spartan system of education and also our indigenous education you will discover that emphasis were placed on morality, aesthetic value, humility etc. But today what do will see, the reverse is the case, students are taught heaven and earth but the basis ‘morality’ is neglected.


Society: Judging from our present society, it is self evident that the society has failed to produce respectable youth, youth with good morals, youths with dignity. Even the people in the society that are being looked up to as men/ women of timber and caliber, men/women we took as role model, celebrities are no even helping issues as they don’t portray good morals. They engage their selfs in unscrupulous activities ranging from embellzement of public funds, bribing and corruption, lies, undergoing different surgery just to look nice, some regarding themselves as marlians and what have you. And these are the people we say we look unto as youth, is a pity.


Having looked at the various body that ought to have contributed positively to the good morals of our youth, lets see how this shortcomings as affected our youth negatively.


Social media: This should I say have done more harm than good to our youths of today, I don’t know if there is a body that govern the activities that are being carried out in the Internet. Youths are greatly influence by this medium because no one to monitor them. Even when you want to unwind with some Nigeria home videos, you will get the greatest shock of you life as what you see there is nudity, or is it musical videos? You dare not even watch with your family as you end up being embraced or you all end up embraced. Educating programs like ‘ who wants to be a millionaire’? are now replaced by programs like ‘big brother’. Can you imagine ?


Youths are now more materialistic which makes them to lose control of morality. Do you blame them for this? No, they are only following the footsteps of their role models, I don’t blame them, when the leaders are not even better of.


Youth now see insanity as being sane, abnormality as being normal and being fake as the real you. It is so disheartening that youth can’t see this but are blinded by peer groups, social media and their quest of just being famous, wealthy and being celebrated whether for good or not, celebrated for being nothing, for immorality, for ruggedness, for being a marlian. What a shame.


How can all these problems be tackled? This can only be done collectively as a family, a body, a society, as a people with the same aim. According to Schweitzer (1979), ‘the prosperity of a society depends on the moral disposition of its members’. And as such for a society to progress or grow, it member most importantly the youths most be morally sound. Parents/guardians, schools, social medias, are to hold up to their responsibility in order to produce morally sound youths.


In conclusion, youth on their own should be able to say no to vices, they should know their worth, say no to bad peer groups, no to anything that will affect them negatively. It is written in the bible(Proverbs 4:7) that in all you gettings get wisdom, and am saying to my fellow youths that in all you gettings get good morals and it will take you to a higher height and not just taking you their but sustaining you.

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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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