Days circled in red carry much more weight than what is signified in fanfare and celebration. They are there to remind the nation of its responsibilities and each individual the essence of humanity.
Elders and children are two of the most vulnerable sections in society who badly need their voices to be heard and their predicaments to be remedied. More often than not, their dilemmas are those that are created by social and economic influences rather than the inherent characteristics that come with age and frailty.
Hardly a day passes without news headlines about a newly raided abortion centre or an old woman abandoned on a crowded road in broad daylight. The trend of people resorting to abortion or abandoning their old parents on roads is rather appalling. It exposes a massive loophole in the spiritual education and the attitude-development of people who are somehow trained to believe that getting rid of the helpless is the ideal way.
A mother of a family with many mouths to feed will resort to abortion or abandon her child in the hospital washroom. On the other hand, busy children will think that dumping their aged parents in a home for elders will give them the care and attention they are unable to provide. Yet, none of this means that economy alone can be blamed for their plight. More than external forces, it is the change in attitudes that has shuffled their priorities, in the process of which their own convenience is sought for at the expense of anything else.
Somehow, they shamelessly disconnect their past and strangle the future.
We have heard inspiring stories of parents who fight for the lives of their children with mortal diseases and disabilities. They start with nothing yet manage to change the world for the children through determination and perseverance. There is also the story of the Bodhisatva who swam in the rough sea for days carrying his mother after a shipwreck.
Sri Lanka celebrates World Children’s Day and the International Day for Elders, today with the hope that its citizens will make an effort to live up to the ‘human’ label. It is also the wish of every citizen that children will have a brighter future despite the present bleakness in the education sector. Suppressing or strangling them in the name of future welfare should not be tolerated; for it is such suppressed individuals who turn out to be ungrateful adults who abandon their parents on the road.
This vicious cycle needs to be broken. Commemorative days are not about organising ceremonies or launching stamps .They are there for us to look at the numbers, compare the present with past and be alarmed of a danger that is not far. For, without a past and present there cannot be future.
sunila mendis Tuesday, 2 October 2012 05:23
Sri lankans are famous for outward show sans core values. Who gives them good or bad values ?Firstly the parents at home.Secondly the Religious institutions ,thirdly the Schools and the neibourhood and finally the Religious, political leaders etc. Values are not taught but caught is an age old saying which is true.Children pick up what they hear and see in the society at large.From the Montesoury school up to upper classess the mothers make the child compete with other children,and in the process sharing, helping slow learners take a back seat and make children utterly selfish.. 5th Standard Scholarship examination ruins the child in a rat race.Winners get all the praise and media attention making other children jealous.Dancing Stars and singing stars for small children conducted by the media are a cruel way of snatching their innocent childhood.
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