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Where are our ethics?

V. Sunitha
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Books won't doHow many of us have taught our children to pray for the well-being of the farmer before eating.Photo: Flickr/Robert Shenk
Books won't doHow many of us have taught our children to pray for the well-being of the farmer before eating.Photo: Flickr/Robert Shenk

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world

— Albert Camus

To search for ethical values in today’s society is a wild goose chase. Inordinately vying globe has made man to overlook human values. Through this article I wish to list out myriad things indicating a lack of values that I have been witnessing in my vicinity.

Cleanliness

Indiscriminate spitting and excreting in public places shows our lack of regard to preserve sanitation and hygiene. I know a stingy man who spills his dustbin in the street corner before dawn to save fifteen bucks that has to be given to the municipal authorities every month. Have we ever pondered over the funeral practices that cause annoyance by messing up the streets with flowers and the remains of fireworks?

The reckless attitude of the students in their educational institutions too needs a mention. Scribbling nonsense on the desks, mutilating the parts of the computers in the labs, vandalising the switch boards, benches, desks, window-panes in the class-rooms are not simply mischief making but acts of lawlessness. Ruining public property in the name of some political cause or agitation cannot be justified at any cost.

Resources

As the dictum goes, “Power saved is power generated”. Despite the discomfort of the power cuts, air conditioners, fans and lights aren’t put off in vacant classrooms and labs. Food and water are more precious than gold. But even today social gatherings leave large amounts of food wasted. An existence deprived of food is the nemesis of the modern man as all the farming lands are exploited by real-estate boom. A life without food, water and electricity is dreadful. But we continue to deplete the bounties of nature.

How many of us have taught our children to pray for the well being of the farmer before eating. On the one hand, earth’s resources are exhausting fast, on the other dependency on these meagre resources is on the increase. Now-a-days every nook and corners of the town is publicized with ‘Avoid Plastic’ posters. But how far these campaigns have eliminated the plastic usage? Almost every one of us is aware of the detrimental impact of plastics and global warming. How many of the policy makers and authorities have come forward to ban the industries that produce plastic covers?

Public offices

Lack of concern in public offices speaks volumes about the loss of values in this mercenary society. Irresponsible, lax and insolent attitude, engaging oneself in cell phones hours’ together when there is a long queue that needs to be attended; coercing the innocent to grease their palm are troublesome. To meet their basic amenities the public are doomed to wander bearing the brunt of ill treatment in public offices.

The situation is nothing less than slinging mud on one’s own head. Modern man with utmost ferocity and brutality marches ahead in pursuit of material gain. Ethical values are shelved in the chasing. Man is unable to fathom that the world is fleeting and his covetousness would raze him to ground.

Gandhiji said, “The earth can provide enough to satisfy everyman’s need but not everyone’s greed.” Resources of even twenty planets will not be adequate to satiate our covetousness. “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value” is the apt quote of Einstein. Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes it obstructs your vision proclaims Hsi-Tang- Chih -Tsang, a renowned Zen master. May be it is the Bible, the Quran or the Vedas, all the books are equally reverential and provide a route to the terminus, fraternity and comradeship. Socialisation, oneness, warmth, geniality and a concern for fellow beings are the need of the hour.

Dr. V. Sunitha is Asst Prof, English, Sreenivasa Institute of Technology and Management Studies, Chittoor. You can reach her atv.sunitha@rediffmail.com

Have your say

Do you think youngsters today are lacking in values? How could the scenario be improved? Tell us your views at school@thehindu.co.in with subject: Values.


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