By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI
(Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence)
In my meditations, I sometimes get lost trying to find the causes of the very loose morals of today’s youth. This is because some of the youths who indulge in bad habits have decent parentage. Their parents may neither drink alcohol nor smoke. Their fathers may not be womanisers, if so, why should their children get so much attached to drinks, smoking or women, that they sometimes ruin their lives?
A critical examination of this unfortunate situation will reveal the fact that, the youth of today do not simply take advice from either their parents or elderly people. They seem to convey the silent message to their parents and elderly people that their colonial era with its “primitive” practices is past and gone forever. They therefore, expect to be allowed to live their own modern lives.
If this is true then, I think the youth are wrong. Civilisation does not mean that baby girls should be defiled; girls should be gang raped. Civilisation does not permit the youth to disrespect their elders and authority. Neither does it require the youth to take to armed robbery, nor does it mean sexual promiscuity.
The colonial days the youth of today refer to as “primitive” were, in fact, an era of enlightenment in its own way – The people of yore were rather civilised, abhorring all sorts of social vices, such as rape, adultery, drug abuse, disrespect for authority, etc.
In those days, a man would quickly retreat, when, unknowingly, he came upon a woman passing water. The female genitals could not be easily mentioned, even by elderly people. The name would just make one blush.
But, what do we see today – this era we describe as a period of civilisation. People just mention the female genitals in public, as if it is some common item. Girls in their teens can easily compete with their mothers in “sexmatics”. Any constructive advice to them is treated with contempt.
In the olden days, adultery was virtually unknown. If a married woman was caught in the web of adultery, she was almost ostracised. Young girls playing “aso” in the evenings would cast insinuations at her in their songs, thus: “Obaa baako wo kuro mu ha, wo kunum mienu” (There is a woman in this town who has two husbands). Such an adulterous woman would impose “house arrest” on herself. She could not easily mix with people.
What about today? Oh my God! Some wives can sleep with their boyfriends on their matrimonial beds without any tinge of shame. This takes place in this era of so-called civilisation. Thus, some marriages continue to end on the rocks.
Another cause of this decay in morals nowadays is believed to be peer pressure. Innocent youth are sometimes lured by their “civilised” friends into social vice, or, even criminal activities. Some students who may indulge in early sex ridicule their virgin colleagues to such an unbearable extent that they also finally find sexual partners, much to their doom.
TV AND VIDEO CINEMAS
When TV and video cinemas were introduced into the country, many people thought they were going to benefit society, including the youth, by way of education and entertainment. For some few years, TV programmes and video shows were confined to pure educational materials.
As time went on, however, immoral films, songs and “atopa” dances took over. Children are now watching films full of amorous scenes, such as kissing deeply and passionately fondling, etc.
Dancers on our TV screens are almost naked and doing obscene dances. Most of our video shows also screen raw sex. Such pornographic films are dubbed “poky” written boldly on notice boards at the premises.
The effect of all such films on the young ones is that they practise what they see on the screens. It is, therefore, not surprising to read about even ten year old boys raping little girls, smoking, etc. Others also learn how to handle and use firearms, after watching war and other violent films.
In schools, some students believe that drugs such as marijuana (wee), cocaine, etc, sharpen brains for academic work. This makes them use the drugs and convince their colleagues to follow suit.
As it is said, the youth are our future leaders. Parents and other authorities, such as teachers, should show concern about their proper upbringing. The youths should be educated to appreciate the sacrifices their parents and guardians are making to make them responsible citizens in future. Thus, they should listen to their pieces of advice to them to live pure lives.
Occasional swoops should be made on traditional cinema houses and video centres by the police to arrest unaccompanied minors. In fact, much of the social vices the young ones indulge in can be blamed on the authorities. This is, because, even though, there are laws banning pornographic films, for instance, video houses freely show them without the slightest hindrance from any quarter. And children are always among the spectators gaping at the horrible stuff.
If we want to prepare the youth to take up national positions from where the old ones will leave off through either retirement or death, then, the authorities should wake up from their long period of slumber. It is, indeed, due to the permissive nature of our society that this predator called HIV/AIDS is having a field day among the helpless sons and daughters of this transitory life.