As an infant, a child is trained and tutored by the parents, because they are the primary source of his or her socialisation. The child learns how to talk, eat, do some menial works and involve into petty conversations with people around him or her, especially with the siblings. It is within that level, that the attention of the parents is deeply needed because at that fragile stage, the child copies whatever he or she observes . If the parents are blind to correct certain behavioral attitudes the child would pick eventually, his or her functionality as a human person might be in jeopardy.
Most of the morally debased people we find in the society get nourished through inappropriate formation of character. That is why most psychologists, sociologists, and behaviorists, take their time in evaluating the social dimension of a child. Some of these get corrupted when certainly, there are poor moderation and inept contribution to the moral growth of the individual. Nonetheless, to build a sustainable society that would get free from moral decay, violence and war, the struggle should take lead from the parents, who are the original facilitators of injecting in their wards, the reputable character required to make the society healthy, calm, serene, resourceful and progressive. This article shall therefore look critically at the place of moral development in a society, the need for character reformation, the threat of moral corruption, as well as the creation of a sane community coated with economic sustainability.
WHAT IS MORAL DEVELOPMENT?
We have pockets of views with regards to moral development and they hinge on different approaches and sampled opinions. However, morality deals with human conduct about what is right or wrong, and the processes of educating children, and the proper attitudes and behaviors toward other members of the society (especially on sociocultural norms and customs). Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, notes moral development to be the ability of children to learn what is right or wrong through reasoning. Through this faculty of reason, they are able to look at rules, decide whether they are fair or not, and apply these rules and their changes to situations requiring negotiation, ensuring that everyone affected by the rules is treated fairly.
Morality is generally a definition of people who give their different collective submission, owing to the agreement of the custom and tradition of the environment. No matter how any society coin their laws and guidelines, it is worth the note, that every moral law ought to emanate from doing good and avoiding what is bad at all cost. Therefore, in the discourse of developing every human person to be morally cultured, we would realize that the issues we had overtime, and still have, are the products of indiscipline and lack of structural responsibility towards living a moral life.
THE NATURE-NURTURE CONTROVERSY: THE NEED FOR CHARACTER REFORMATION
We internalise ideas and habits through socialisation and our attitude towards things, as well as grab fitness through the places and people we have met. Hence, there are two agents that are responsible to human moral development. They are specifically inevitable constituents and they construct heavily to our approach, interest to things, our method of reasoning and so many other factors that challenge every human growth.
Among behavioral psychologists, there has been something troubling about these two agents, summarised as the nature-nurture controversy. Nature is something everyone has to live with, so also nurture. At some point, we get to battle with the two, since we have been slaves to it unknowingly. Our parents may have this very good life mapped for us, but the environment unconsciously plays her own part. Both of them are doing their work, but where the problem lies is our ability to respond positively to them and balance the scale between this nature-nurture controversy.
Much research has been done overtime about the nature-nurture controversy, and today nearly everyone agrees that both contribute immensely to the development of every human person. 20th century researchers had beamed their searchlight on twins who are separated at birth. Unraveling such mystery, psychologists can be relatively certain that any behavior the twins share, would have a genetic history and those behaviors that are different have environmental dominance. In 1995, Thomas Bouchard, a professor of psychology conducted a striking study of twins, which appeared in a New York article. When the twins finally met, they were wearing a beige dress and a brown velvet jacket. Both had the eccentric habit of pushing up their noses.
Furthermore, when one finds himself or herself in an abusive family, or a family that cares less to the needs of their children, it means emphatically that the person can be prone to be responsive to poor family upbringing. Home training is paramount to creating a better society, nonetheless, parents who turn off to the most essential ingredients of life, which is configuring their children to a certain level of discipline, are in a way, romancing the emergence of violence, belligerent attitudes and exhibitions of character that are not permissible, or in conformity to what the laws of the society inform.
Clearly then, the formation of a child, the traits and genes, are intertwined from the parents. Reformation of character on the other hand, takes prelude, when the child’s behavior is not fitting to the expectations of the society. So, no matter how strong environmental influences could push, nurture has a beautiful way of proving the superiority. Refreshingly, any environment that is hostile to balancing this nature-nurture morality, is on a cause to letting chaos loose.
MORAL CORRUPTION: A THREAT TO A HOPEFUL NATION
We cannot deny that every person is responsible for every decaying society, directly or not. Ironically, we cannot also conceive that the human environment is oblivious to the concept of morality. This is so because achieving a community free from moral issues, is just like premising in the assurance of getting a perfect human being. Every community, is shaped with different personalities, which yield the completeness of a sullied community. Considering the level of some inadequacies fixated in some communities, the nature and the exposure they have gotten, it is undeniable to commensurate to reaching an expected standard of what morality entails. The indispensability of moral upheavals recorded in our society, does not give support to not arguing about how well it could be better and modified.
When we live in a community heaped with untamed individuals, it goes a long way to inciting the spirit of people into subscribing to violence, political fights, religious misunderstanding and economic recess. Why a debased community can arrive at this bitter destination is because, there are very few of us, who are so quick in grabbing such opportunities to siphon the public fund, constitute nuisance and employ religious intolerance. Any society that has the interest of positive growth, structural development, infrastructural turn-around, should first accept with courage, the reality of withdrawing from depravity and make resolution to inventing/re-inventing means of (re)building a stable home for everyone.
Every Nation therefore, looks forward to achieving greatness, and one of our duties as citizens of a nation, is to keep up orderliness in respect to moral development. Therefore, building a society is a cooperative exercise and when any wing is lagging behind, the speed to actualising a purposeful and progressive nation, keeps dying by the second.
TECHNO-AGE AND THE RELAPSE OF DIGNITY OF LABOUR
Our age is equipped with different technological gadgets. It is surely overwhelming and carries a vague picture in the faces of our contemporary youths. Recently, a group of boys were found in a reserved room with laptops, other internet accessories and with very inciting drinks. When they were asked for reasons behind their actions, they kept falling back to the government’s inability to carter for them.
We are living in a society where every piece of information could be surfed and accessed very quickly through the internet. It is credit surely, but very disturbing at some point. At the comfort of our homes, many resort to cyber crimes, etc., and push out some irritating information about people at the cost of a meager pay. Our youths have been exposed to this danger, because belonging to a society that is multifaceted, is enough query if you do not have a social media account. This explains why certain goals are hardly met and one should be upset at the consequences of this engagement namely: the dearth of human moral growth and dignity in labour.
Stealing from others to get employed, is not a better means of being inventive. Innovation has to do with creating an avalanche of reasonable hopes for others through building a self-reliant business. Embracing the internet with the zeal of duping others is obviously immoral and it does not add to the glory of the society.
The internet nevertheless, have been a source of relief and relaxation to those who faithfully understand the importance of it. Through the emergence of the internet and scientific materials, most of us get infused with exalting laziness and enriching more fittingly the desire to be sluggard and indolent. The time when we praised farm works, construction works, and many other locally dignified labor, is gone. Now, we congratulate people for buying cars, living in different countries, changing comforts rapidly, etc., without questioning their source of income, because, we have dignified fraudulence over labor. We teach people that labor is now meant for the weak and the reality attached to it, is not to what is expected. Karl Marx had made it clear however that “the dignity of man lies in his labor and it is this labor that arouses rationality in man; making man distinct from other class of animals.”
CREATING A SANE COMMUNITY THROUGH ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
Over time, the consistent enlargement of unemployed youths keep becoming a troubling issue in Africa especially Nigeria. We all would give a flat congeniality that what engenders some of the uprising and violent revolt in our societies, could be the neglect given to our teeming graduates who are desperate to be gainfully employed. But often the attitude the government exhibits on some of them, makes it seem as if it is not the sole responsibility of the government to create jobs and place them where they would become more useful to the society.
Nonetheless, being financially independent could be achieved by any determined person, who has no much hope or trust on the government. When everyone is involved in one duty or another, it helps in maintaining sanity and predictable claims to structural enhancement. People get converted to ills and fractions of evil due to negligence, fragile responses to unemployment and poor attachment to the faculty of reason. We kill our little talents, condemn our valuable gifts and mortgage our ability to persistently blossom in various sectors of life. If we are able to ascribe some of the zest we have for irrelevancies, including the ones on social media, etc., we would have grown to a height no one would be able to direct and remote our inherent wages.
Building economic infrastructures, would help a great deal in cushioning the index rate of arm robbery, kidnapping, social ills and political assassination. The society can regain its political standard and economic progress through making available, certain schemes and projects that would keep a good number of people resourcefully busy. Again, the government should make better policies that would stand strong, especially paying off any individual who is up to the age of retirement. With such policies and others, the problem of unemployment, moral corruption, political lies and many others, would be handfully addressed.
It is pertinent to suggest to every family about the need to raise their children to be self-reliant and morally cultured since the family occupies a greater part of forming the society. Our respective institutions, organizations and religious groups that are responsible for forming different individuals should take their time in making more efforts to realising trained persons and good minds who are eager and willing to push ahead the resplendence of building good morals through education, positive interactions and identified values that would change the mindset of others and place our society into an incredible regard.
Published with Copyright Permission from ‘The Seeker’s Delight Magazine, (25th March, 2018), Fayit-Fadan Kagoma, Kaduna State Nigeria. Edited by David Francis for www.reasonchapel.com.
About the Author: Chukwuechefulam Princewell Okwuoha, is from Imo State, Nigeria. He describes himself as a patriotic citizen to books, a partisan to the beauty of knowledge, a nurtured feminist who is against the molestation of women and a seasonal commentator to issues in ethics and law. Meet him via email here.
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