April 16, 2010
Less condemnation and more attention for our youths


There has been huge public outcry about a recently held schools’ dance off and cheerleading competition.

The outcry followed the broadcast on television of part of the event which showed dancers engaged in moves which mimick aggressive sexual acts.{{more}}

The shock and indignation, especially by parents and older members of society, are only natural, as are the concerns about deteriorating moral standards.

These issues have been raised by SEARCHLIGHT on several occasions in the past, including the use of persons wearing school uniforms by some show promoters to increase the attractiveness and profitability of their promotions. Even the marketing arm of some large firms sink to this level as well, resorting to what borders on sexual permissiveness to promote their products. In the process, the negative stereotypes of women are reinforced.

Related concerns are those connected with the promotion of violence via music and music videos, with some regional and international artists being especially guilty.

Regrettably, much of the condemnation in the case of the local dance show is aimed at the young participants, and at young people in general. Much as we may deplore what misguided activities that some young people may be lured into, there are much wider social and moral implications.

To heap blame on the young people themselves is grossly unfair, and self-defeating. Our young people are not only a reflection of the degeneration of our society, they are the principal victims of it. Not one person in the over-forty generation has been subjected to such social pressures on a massive scale. It is easy for older members of society to be prudish about how virtuous they were in contrast to the youth of today. But not one of them ever had to contend with the distractions thrown at the generations of today – DVDs, television, the Internet, video games, the whole range. Such is the rapid development of modern technology and the globalisation of the world that efforts by parents to exert control are becoming less and less effective.

All this must be seen in the context of the general breakdown in family and community life and relations. The old traditional institutions have been succumbing to modern pressures, but few healthy family-based and community-focused institutions have replaced them. Our society has put economic advancement, by whatever means, on the pinnacle of achievement, and that, not moral values or community spirit, is the yardstick by which our young people are being judged.

So the onus is not only on the young to maintain what we may consider to be appropriate moral standards, but also for us as adults to give proper guidance.

How many of us are willing to sacrifice the time to talk with, provide advice and guidance to our young children and adolescents? Are we too busy moving ahead in our own lives, providing for our own offspring, short-sightedly forgetting that they have to interact with the very ones we ignore and even spurn?

This latest controversy represents yet another call for action to our entire nation.