Discipline, responsibility and commitment to duty and obligations ranging from small matters like arranging the bed when we wake up to bigger community, social and national issues, need to be urgently revived.
The breakdown in democracy, accountability, transparency and integrity at the highest levels of politics – the command centres of power and privilege – is seen by most independent analysts as the main reason for the breakdown in discipline in most areas ranging from the family and school to professions and other areas including religious activity. We heard recently of what happened in a leading Colombo school where the Rector was embroiled in a controversy involving questions of integrity, transparency and accountability in school funds amounting to tens of millions of rupees. The school was split down the middle with sections of various associations seeking the removal of the Rector and others wanting him to stay, while thousands of innocent schoolchildren were literally wondering what the devil was going on. The Rector has now been moved out, but the manner in which it took place has created more confusion, contradictions and mystery.
" Parents need to act fast to bring about discipline in the family because no mother or father would wish to see the children being corrupted by pornography or sadism "
Over the weekend we heard some shocking details of a tragedy and something worse involving Education Minister Bandula Gunewardene’s son. Much in line with current trends where the rich and ruling elite have become the law while the constitutional law and order situation has crumbled, the Minister’s son is alleged to have been driving without a licence when he knocked down a pedestrian on a level crossing. The victim’s condition is said to be critical, while the police arrested the Minister’s son, produced him in Court and did not object to his release on bail. Amid all this it is alleged that attempts were made to get a back-dated driving licence from the Department of Motor Traffic, but a senior officer who was approached is reported to have refused to get involved in any political wheeler-dealing even if it cost him his job.
If the Minister in charge of several hundred thousand children is setting such a trend in twisting and turning the law, and if principals or teachers do the same, then the writing is indeed on the blackboard for the students.
If we do not restore discipline in schools, we might be confronted by a new generation of irresponsible sadists because of the easy access to horrible porn sites online or smart phones and Facebook relationships with devastating consequences. If the example is not coming from the education authorities or the political rulers, then parents need to act fast to bring about discipline in the family because no mother or father would wish to see the children being corrupted by pornography or sadism. The mother especially has a unique sacrificial love relationship with the child, and needs to play a key role in saving the next generation. If the father and the mother set a good example, acting selflessly and sacrificially, then Sri Lanka will have good families which are the nucleus of a good society.
In a moral crisis where we can’t expect much from political leaders or from the selfish standards of a capitalist market economy, religious leaders also need to come forward and play a dynamic role to restore discipline in the young generation, who will be the future leaders of our country. High priority needs to be given to Dhamma Schools where spiritual values of a sharing and caring society and a proper sex education are given to the children. Then perhaps children will set the example to leaders for truly has it been said that if we do not become innocent and honest as children we cannot take the High Road in life though we may have plenty of super-highways.