Posted by: kulanjiyil | May 3, 2008



Physical walls protect and safeguard us from strangers, intruders and enemies. They also help us establish appropriate boundaries. Strong and well-built walls of the ancient times, like the Great Wall of China, have endured the test of time. When walls are tone down, the result would be impending risk to the safety and wellbeing of the community. Like physical walls, there are moral walls; moral walls that are designed to protect the society from moral corruption, exploitation and decay.

In majority of cultures, parents, teachers, and religious personels such as priests are looked upon as moral instructors. For example, in the Indian tradition, parents and teachers represent the unseen God. They help children develop moral agency and virtuous character. In the Hebrew tradition, parents are the moral instructors and guardians. King Solomon wrote,” Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a guard to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9).

A distressing and dire fact of our times is the destruction of these necessary moral walls. The moral boundaries that establish and strengthen healthy relationship between parents and children are being pulled down or easily crossed over. Children have become either sexual objects or marketable commodity. They are being exposed to vulnerable market places, and their skills and talents are being exploited for financial gains. Parents have lost the sense of shame to engage in things the society once considered repulsive and morally wrong. Our media is full of these stories every day. No wonder, parents are loosing their moral authority on children.

In most societies teachers and educators are esteemed high because they as educators play a significant role in helping students formulate values and worldviews. However, as philosopher Alfred Whitehead correctly observes, unlike the schools of antiquity where educators aspired to impart practical wisdom to their students, the educators of our day evaporate those noble ideals. Look at our educational institutions today. The decency of both teachers and students are steadily in decline. Teachers caught in child pornography trafficking and sexual abuse of school children, are making news headlines. The loopholes in our legal system help these culprits escape the law easily, for many to repeat their offense again.       

Our impression of a priest is that of someone worthy of our sacred trust. Religious personnels are supposed to be men and women of personal integrity, but again, with the increasing number of sex scandals, implicating priests these days, especially in the United States, that reputation is greatly blemished.

There are serious ramifications to the collapse of moral systems in our society, and we cannot remain ignorant or indifferent to these realities. Children brought up in a society without any firm moral authority and structure would be morally confused, behaviorally challenged, and often morally bankrupt. In a morally chaotic world, discerning the right from the wrong, respecting authority, and setting healthy boundaries in relationships, would be hard.  The emotional scars of sexually abused children are generally slow to heal, and the constant struggle to develop matured interpersonal relationships due to difficulty trusting others would make their lives more miserable. At least in a number of cases, the abused would become the abuser.

We must recognize the moral perils of the contemporary culture and its impact upon the present and the future generations. Home must be the first training ground for moral conduct. Parents are to provide a safe and secure moral environment for their children to develop moral values and character. Strong and healthy moral boundaries must be established between them. Parents are to emulate themselves those qualities they seek to impart to their children. Our educational and religious communities must be held accountable to a higher moral standard. Our cultural mandate is preventing the erosion of our moral ideals. United let us rebuild the broken walls!













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