There is a general consensus that the future of any nation rests on the shoulders of its young people. For this reason, special attention should be paid to this segment of the population to help them fulfil their purpose as potential leaders.
Leadership is both an art and a science through which the affairs of any society are directed. As such, it is critical that young people acquire moral standards and values that will mould them into individuals who are ready to lead and ensure progress. We have seen a disturbing trend among our youth in the last few months.
There have been cases of drug and alcohol abuse, the gangster lifestyle and, recently, students setting their own schools on fire.
Society is not static and changes have been accelerated because of issues such as technology, globalisation and migration. Simple traditional societies have evolved into complex modern societies.
Just as societies have developed, values have also continued to change to suit the character of a changing world. This has brought in an increased wave of moral decadence and moral laxity in present-day societies. We, however, would like to restate that the old adage ‘Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart from it” still remains relevant amid all the changes.
Everyone in society has a role to play, to be their brothers’ keepers. We must go back to the basics.
Parents must ask their schoolgoing children to take back pencils and pens if they did not buy them. By failing to do so, parents are teaching their children dishonesty and, soon, this will catch up with us as a society. We urge every parent to have an appropriate parent-child relationship to address social imbalances with a view to correcting the wrongs that have already been done.
Religious leaders should also look straight into the eyes of the highest church benefactors and ask them to stop ungodly practices.
Teachers should pinpoint indiscipline among learners in an equal manner regardless of who the parents of the truants are. Simple things done repeatedly make all the difference over time.
While interrogating the behaviour of young people today, we realised that they are faced with peculiar problems that challenge their moral stance.
They are surrounded by people who have thrown morality aside and are succeeding in life. Society appears to celebrate corruption and favour those who can do anything to make money.
In short, we have contributed to the trend we are seeing in our young people today. Research has shown that the value system of the youth is an important indicator of specific trends of the societies where they live.
As Kenyans, we should note that the current situation in our society affects the formation of values and attitudes and actual behaviour of young people.
All what we have said notwithstanding, we would like to speak to all young people. We know you are energetic and some of you are willing to go the extra mile if need be to achieve what you believe in.
You have the power within you to bring about the change you want to see. You can choose to make a positive impact by the way you live. Do not give up.
We would like to remind you that the world still celebrates men and women of great values who held onto and continue to hold onto values that are both undeniable and true. Stand to be counted.
The power lies in your hands. Learn to utilise this power to make Kenya a better country.
Dr Kiambati is a management consultant and a senior lecturer at Karatina University. kellenkiambati@gm ail.com
Dr Kariuki is a social scientist, management consultant and a lecturer at Karatina University. firstname.lastname@example.org