November 29, 2014

Elusive responsibility

Whose responsibility is it to take care of the child that is born? This question needs serous thought in modern society even more than in the past. Crime, delinquency and abuse are issues that we face in society as it "progresses" towards what we call progress.

How do we deal with this - in a way that is sustainable? The way we dealt with this in the past was by having the child's community deal with this as its social responsibility. While in small societies this is still possible but later with more urbanization and the social and ethnic complexity that this brought in, it began to be seen as a centralized responsibility of the larger political city-systems with its formal and impersonal institutions. Children too as they grow up then imbibe these same cold and impersonal qualities that divide society rather than coalesce it. As affluence grows as is expected of in the context of cities, which are called the engines of economic growth, competitiveness and selfishness too grow with this affluence. Soon, as parents, perhaps unawares, sink into the hedonistic culture often signified by wealth accumulation, leave disdained the sometimes only child they may have. Yes, in this context, having fewer children is also seen as good because the calculus is always driven by the left brain, even though for many of us Muslims this calculus should be right-brained and imbued with the wisdom of our Maker who does not profess children as a liability, but an asset in this life.

Then, when our man-made laws don't seem to hold, the government happily comes to the rescue by doling out the funds amassed by our taxes -- building reformatories that takes ever larger chunks of public finance to address these -- democracy fuels a welfare society where the public don't have to work and just be happy being taken care of. So ultimately, bringing up responsible citizens of tomorrow becomes the responsibility of the government, not the parents and the community. Can we examine the predicament this will land us in the future? Please, we must look another way; we cannot go the way of the present development set so blind to the fact that those who brought on to vogue this development paradigm is but questioning its validity as the solution to humanity's woes. When will we in our cocooned developing countries wake up, and not be led as did the pied piper?!

1 comment:

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