BORN TO BE SOCIETAL MISCREANTS!

I always wondered, when I hear of serial killers, rapists, murderers, thieves, etc how much wasted money and time were employed or used in training these nomenclatures.

The contemporary society is bedeviled by a myriad of challenges that threaten its social, political and economic wellbeing. All adults started out as a new born baby. Babies! Their births bring untold joy to family, friends and communities. Big celebrations are carried out to celebrate their coming into the world. The joys of motherhood brings about a sense of belonging in the society because the primary responsibility of being a woman is procreation. When these children are born, they are born into families. Having a family is meant for togetherness, to build a relationship and to keep the family’s lineage or dynasty alive.

Imagine all the money for diapers, baby formula, clothings, food, shelter, baby accessories and education all gone when this child turns vile and wicked and have to be sentenced to death or jail. What is the cause of these madness and bad behaviour. Did parents not do well in upbringing or is it normal to have psychos in the society?

Well I say No! Hell No! We can have a good but maybe not too perfect economy, free from serial killers and psychos. Yes. It’s 90% achievable. These problems need to be addressed from the roots itself. Some children are born out of wedlock; some grow in loving families, others in families they don’t feel loved or wanted.

It is mostly believed that only children who were brought up in hysterical and unloved environments turn out to be a thorn in the flesh of the society. This is mostly true but studies have shown that even children brought up in loving and caring families actually turn same later in life. This may be due to barriers and obstacles encountered as life progresses. For example, a child who has been taught the wrongs and rights of life may as a result of losing both parents to circumstances turn vicious which are due to life changes.

Children who grew in foster homes and streets have more likelihood of posing great problems to the society. The experience or trauma experienced in most foster homes/streets turn these children into unrecognizable devils. Most result to carrying/trading weapons, selling/doing drugs, stealing, killing, prostitution etc.

Yes it is agreed that all these evils cannot be controlled but they can be minimized to its barest level. How so? First and foremost, kids should be taken off the streets through empowerment programmes that help them live better lives. These programmes should not just be carried out but should be monitored and evaluated periodically to ensure its maximum success. Most these kids are runaways from home, they should be brought together with their parents with issues leading to their escape addressed appropriately.

Secondly, children/parents in foster homes should be checked periodically to ensure they live a happy and fulfilled life. They should be checked in and out of the clock to ensure there is no sought of pretence towards the care and love of the concerned child. Children should be taught ethical behaviours. As the first agent of socialisation, parents/families must strive to teach their children morals, good and acceptable norms and traditions. By so doing , when they grow up and join the larger society, they will easily fit in and become responsible citizens.

Being an Unloved Child does the following:

1. It creates a lot of shame. The child thinks the parent doesn’t love him/her because the child feels there is something wrong with him/her (the child needs to believe that the parent is functioning and safe so the problem must be the child). You hear people saying: I’m faulty, I’m screwed up, I don’t deserve it.

2. It destroys trust in relationships. People with good relationship with their parents have faith in love and know how good ones work. The opposite of this is true for those with poor relationships.

3. One of two things tends to happen: The child (and subsequently adult) either tries harder or gives up. Think of
someone who can’t hear you, perhaps you start shouting or you
move closer or you tap them on the shoulder. Maybe you get
angry with them. Or maybe you give up. There’s no point.
They can’t hear you. Sometimes you alternate between the two.
These are the three basic insecure attachment patterns
(anxious, avoidant, disorganized).

4. It creates an inner critic. People who had support will hear supportive voices in their heads and the opposite is also true. People who hear 'you’re stupid, you’re lazy, you’ll never amount to anything' heard it from someone else first. They learn to criticise themselves and they often self sabotage when things go well.

5. They are less resilient. They don’t have the resources to help themselves and they don’t believe that other people are reliable enough to help them (or they’re too scared to ask).

CAUSES OF MORAL DECADENCE AMONG YOUTHS AND WAY FORWARD

Growing up is also one of the hardest part of life. During this decisions affecting life are made, good/bad peers groups are formed, etc. This stage is quite fragile because this is where a child determines how he would act later in life. Teenage-hood tends to be quite difficult and tricky. Teens/youths tend to experiment with mostly dangerous things and decisions which affect their way of life. This way of life can either lead to achieved dreams or moral decadence. Causes of moral decadence among the youth can be categorized into social, economic, cognitive and technological factors.

  1. Social causes include peer influence and unstable home environments. Parents should endeavour to create time to know the friend and friends of friends of their children. It is said correctly “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are” “evil communication corrupts good manners” therefore parents need to be extra careful of the type of friend their child makes. Children should also be taught to have a good sense of judgement when it comes to friend making, it will help them select the right friends properly.
  2. Economic factors which include poverty, social status, etc. In an economy where standard of living is poor, children/youths result in criminal activities to live by. Skill acquisition programmes should be conducted periodically to ensure that teenagers build their skill. Free education should be provided in developing nations of the world to groom these children to be independent in their later years.
  3. Technological innovations, such as media and the Internet, expose young people to potentially unwelcome information. These days graphic movies and serial-killer movies are released on a daily basis, causing kids to want to experiment on what they’ve watched. Studies have shown that children who watch boxing/wrestling try out fighting styles during their plays. The social media is a play tool in the hand of a teenager as they get to meet new and strange people each day. Porn videos are allowed to be downloaded and their sites allowed entry. It is quite important that their activities on the social media are monitored judiciously. We’ve heard of stories where teenagers were killed after an encounter with someone they key online. The content of teenagers' movies, internet and social media should be controlled extensively.
  4. Cognitive causes are related to the need for belonging among the youth driven by physical and psychological needs. It’s quite common for a teenager to feel wanted or wanting to belong to a group. This gives them a feeling of acceptance among their peers. They are concerned about the way they dress (what’s trending), owning the latest technology/devices, visiting happening places etc. An average teenager would do what it takes not to be seen as a geek; to look and act the part. When I was in primary school, I was bullied by my friends and called all sorts of names. I remember I would sit alone, ashamed of myself and wondering why I felt so different. The love from my family and mom made me feel myself and so when I entered secondary school with that air of feeling good about myself (like I had been taught by my mom, bless her soul) and I was never bullied again rather I became someone everyone wanted to be like. Teaching children to be proud of themselves build self confidence that comes to play later in life. 80% of crime teenagers try out for the first time is based on proving themselves worthy to a group, proving that have guts and nerves because they lack self confidence.
In furtherance to the above, more emphasis will be placed on the media because today’s world provides the easiest and fastest access to knowledge overcoming time and distance constraints through the electronic media.

The electronic media in the form of radio, television, movies, video/computer games, cell phones, computer network and internet prove to be not only the easiest means of access to information but also provides increasing access to knowledge. It has gradually become a part of our daily lives and source of information, education and entertainment. It has also had a huge impact on our world and has become part of modern life styles.

Technological advancement is slowly taking a steady control over individual lives which many of today’s youths are embracing a wide array of media as part of their everyday lives. The rising importance and availability of online social networks and their popularity among young people are undeniable facts. The use of the internet is becoming an ever more integral part of young people’s lives and as a result, they are communicating with each other on an unprecedented scale.

The youths are leveraging the power of media to create, communicate, share and learn. Today’s fast-paced media could
be making us indifferent to human suffering which has taken the world by storm and at the same time, it has raised serious concerns among the parents of these technology-savvy teens.

Television, movies, radio, internet are having adverse effect on
mankind. It has influenced our culture, our behavior and our
brains. We are witnessing a major cultural revolution that is having an incredible impact in our society. The social media has
been described as the most powerful force that has ever influenced the human mind and heart. It has a tremendous potential to influence culture.

Sex and violence play prominent roles in films and television as
both sells, they attract audience and that translate into cash.
Money; drives the spread and acceptance of this powerful media.
Listeners/viewer seeks things that provide immediate
gratification –pleasurable entertainment. The cares, worries and
routines of life can be forgotten momentarily when the human
mind is constantly bombarded with images it is unable to think
and reflect. The immediate availability of novelty, excitement,
scintillating and titillating thrills provide a pleasurable escape for
people who find their existence boring, empty, lonely or frustrating. The media has been accused of using tragic consequence to remake society. Violence on TV causes children
to be more aggressive in behavior which later lead to violent in
later life. The continuous portrayal of promiscuity as exciting,
adultery as natural and divorce as acceptable plays a powerful
role in molding attitudes and behavior which have a devastating
effect on our moral values. Today the average child watches between 25 and 30 hours of TV a week.

Psychologists warn that our changing lifestyles may be altering
children’s brains in subtle but critical ways. Language and reading exercises are focused in the left side of the brain. When children watch TV for several hours a day (where little
conversation or thinking is involved) and read only 5-10
minutes a day, experts fear a detrimental effect on brain development since reading and watching TV make very different
demands on the brain, extensive TV viewing could reduce stimulation to left hemisphere systems critical for development of language, reading and analytical skills may affect mental ability and attention by diminishing mental traffic between hemispheres and may discourage development of executive
systems that regulate attention, organization and motivation.
These fears correlate with what teachers observe in the classroom. Students today have shortened attention spans; they
struggle with reading and writing assignments, exhibit less creativity, are easily bored and distracted, lack perseverance,
give up easily and have difficulty in remembering instructions and thinking through problems. TV may also have a negative
impact even for adults on creative problem-solving performances and persistence which many would rather escape from than find solutions students who watch less TV and do interact with adults tend to develop problem solving, language and listening skills.

Television is rapidly eroding the strength of our nation from
within. The modern inability not to distinguish between good
and bad, beauty and ugliness, truth and falsehood but even to
admit the possibility of a distinction. TV has culture by the throat, when a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is re-defined as a perpetual round of entertainment,
when people become and audience and their public business becomes a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; cultural death is a clear possibility.

Script writers and producers deliberately undermine the moral
values upon which it was founded when they tend to generate
and promote the warped content of the media that degrades the
values and behavior of our modern world. The connection is quite obvious when what is projected on the silver screen is compared to what the scriptures say and about our social value
system. A debased mind which revels in sexual vulgarity, immorality, wickedness, violence, covetousness, murder, strife
and all kinds of evil including homosexuality and other
perversions is an accurate description of modern media entertainment. The society has forgotten and rejected ethical values where people became selfish, materialistic, callous, brutal, despisers of good and lovers of pleasures, where people are determined to call evil good and good evil. These and many more are the sobering warnings to a society that has been willingly misled by the corrupting influence of modern misguided media. We now live in a society where the culture has collapsed, religion has been watered down and corrupted and moral values are under constant attack by the media.

Living in a media saturated age; we must be ready to abide by the doctrines of the society. Turn or shut our eyes from seeing worthless and evil things, stop the ears from hearing bloodshed, avoid degrading amusements, flee sexual immorality that permeate the media today which requires serious thinking and decision making on our part. Families should encourage a healthy media diet for their children. Parents and kids should work together to decide how much time to spend with electronic media on a daily basis and to make sure good and informed choices are being made about what media to take in.

A challenging task for parents to train their children in the right way by encouraging them to be physically active and to think about what they want to do with their lives; help them to see the need of others, to discover their own talents and develop skills and abilities to serve other human beings. Teach them the benefits of living according to the injunctions and tenets of the Almighty God as consequences come from rejecting and violating it. Encourage children to use their time wisely, focus on things that are true, noble, just and pure so as to avoid the pitfalls of this media- entertainment saturated age.

In the same vein, a wakeup call for educators as media education is crucial. Therefore the ability to decipher a bewildering array of media and make use of them, may be useful in mitigating harmful media effects.