Strong families make a strong nation

Dhaka,  Tue,  19 September 2017
Published : 16 Apr 2017, 20:25:15

Strong families make a strong nation

Abu Afsarul Haider
From the literate to illiterate, aristocrat to underclass, all suffer from a disease and the disease is called "get-rich-quick syndrome".  In a materialistic world all are busy making money and living lives of their own and have no time for family or community they belong to. Apparently, there is nothing wrong in amassing fortune through smuggling, tender manipulation, drug trade, shady land and sand business or by extorting money from street hawkers, transport sector and other unethical businesses etc. Everybody sees what everybody does, there is no 'secret'. All know who the tax evaders, loan defaulters, stock market scammers or land-grabbers are, but nobody dares speak up against the guilt of others or admit his/her own. This erosion in social and moral values makes this society less humane and it becomes poorer in social capital. 

The most consequential change, particularly in recent decades, is deterioration in the bond between parents and children and as a consequence more and more children are growing up with weak parental attachments, little empathy and a low respect for law and order and civility. It's depressing to see the newspaper early in the morning to read news like, a teenager has allegedly burned his father to death after being refused a latest model motorcycle, teenage girl decided to kill her parents after they had taken away her mobile phone or a 23-year-old man has allegedly strangled three siblings to death (10, 8 and 6 year old) and stabbed his elder brother following a dispute over family property etc. 

Family is the basic building block of a society and children are born into a family from which they learn all teachings of right and wrong. They learn their morals, their self worth, develop trust and love for others from those to whom they are emotionally attached. Because of the changing realities of the current times, absence, emotional distance or preoccupation of parents strike at the very heart of those values --trustworthiness, respect for others, responsibility, fairness, caring and fellow feeling. Some parents, due to a lack of time, pressures at work and so forth, are trying to buy their children's love. They feel guilty for not being around as often, so when their children ask for things they simply say "yes" to compensate. This spoil children.

At present, 33 per cent of our population belongs to the age-group of 0-14 years and 18.8 per cent to the age-group of 15-24 years. They are the country's greatest asset. The future of this nation lies in the hands of its posterity. The values children learn at home can contribute to a strong nation. Those parents who spend the most time in childrearing, other things remaining equal, will have the best child outcomes. Children will always need strong, trusted and caring family because caring family units are the 'germination beds' for growing and forming cohesive, strong, emotionally secure, outward-centric and positive communities.

Not all parents have knowledge of how children spend their free time, where do they hang out, who their friends are or what they do on the Internet. People have more connection with the world through social media but have lost connection with families. When the building block (read emotional attachment) itself is not strong, the effectiveness of the parent as a teacher and moral guide can be detrimental. 

Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of Kenya, once said that "Strong family values rest on compassion, respect, peace, justice, freedom, equality and most importantly, tolerance of different opinions, ideas and affiliations."  Therefore, we need to ensure the well-being of our younger generation, create an atmosphere congenial to developing a positive attitude, along with the related values, ideals and morals in them.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
Published by the Editor for International Publications Limited from Tropicana Tower (4th floor), 45, Topkhana Road, GPO Box : 2526 Dhaka- 1000 and printed by him from City Publishing House Ltd., 1 RK Mission Road, Dhaka-1000.
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