Family values

Strong family values starts at the family home. Our Asian cultural milieu has an added advantage in that our family bond is very much closer than those of a number of other nations, where children leave the nest at a very early age. The geographical size of our country also adds to the advantage. Children going to college still return home during their semester break, and those who are between jobs also tend to spend their intervening years with their parents, thus maintaining the family bond.

Ethical values such as politeness, punctuality, courtesy to elders, respect for women, honesty, and moral courage are actually absorbed at a young age. The children learn from the examples seen from the daily behaviour of their parents and other close family elders, and subconsciously adapt good principles through their growing years by just being with their close family members.

A lifelong process of education and peer learning also add to the process of knowledge and adapting good values as one grows up. That is why it is important that the growing years of children are spent with people of their age and values that are compatible with their family and social cultures.

The experience of cultural shock when exposed to a different environment do have some effect on personal values. Many youths sent abroad to study sometime failed to appreciate the learning part of their stay in the foreign environment. There are a few who could not adapt to the local culture, whilst others may find the freedom away from parental control unavoidably changed their behavior for the worse. There are some however, who absorbed the sense of freedom in a positive way and returned home with an enlightened outlook towards life.

One school of thought strongly believes that religion plays an important part in molding a child towards good cultural values. A study of a number of societies steep in religion getting involved in drugs, violence, and at times unhealthy sexual preferences somehow contradicts this theory. It must be admitted though religion does play a part in instilling values which are associated with kindness, honesty, and a host of other qualities that would make a Sunday school teacher beam with pride.

Good behaviour starts at home. Parents are the first in the child’s environment to instill good values according to the religious, cultural and racial need of the society they are living. When the child goes to school, he or she also picks up the cultural norms available in the school environment. Growing up, the child is then plunged into the working world, with its own politics, norms, and special culture peculiar to that profession. They are many therefore who believes that good family values starts at home, and nurtured subsequently by the society we live in.

The topic of good family values is also associated with the sexual attitude a child grows up with. Criminologists have time and again pointed out that a majority of sexual offenders are those with unhappy childhood. Particularly amongst those who grow up not respecting the opposite sex. Sexually promiscuous women have also been associated with a dejected marital background, or those who have had unpleasant sexual experience imposed upon them in their early years.

The best legacy that one can pass down to our children is good, decent family values according to the cultural norms that we live in. An inheritance in the form of wealth would no doubt ensure that our offspring live in affluence and material comfort. A person needs ethics, humility, fairness, and decent principled values, absorbed from his environment through his growing years, in order to live with civility within the society. This is far more important than growing up rich; one needs more than just wealth in order to be civilized, and more reassuring, cultured.



The writer has lived and worked in a number of places and has learnt to look at things from different view points. Still learning, he hopes to share these experience with readers of this news portal