Restoring morality

Updated: 2011-11-02 08:02

(China Daily)

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Is the nation's moral fabric really in tatters?

It is astounding that so much evidence is staring us in the face, yet failing to inspire change.  

It's an issue we're now facing, whether we are willing to admit it or not.

On Monday a young man was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for stabbing his mother at Pudong International Airport on April 1. Arriving in Shanghai from Japan, where he studied, the man was angry with his mother because she failed to put 300,000-400,000 yuan ($47,100-62,800), his tuition fee for one year, in his Japanese bank account in time.

In another example two vehicles ran over a 2-year-old toddler in Foshan, a city in South China's Guangdong province, on October 13. Eighteen people who passed by failed to extend a helping hand to her lying in her own blood. She died a week later.

In other cases, people are forced to pay compensation for extending a helping hand to elderly people who have had a fall.

The irresponsibility and selfishness of some are precipitating a moral decline in the nation.

Some of the bad aspects of human nature are tolerated, respected and even indulged by many people.

There are values in this world that express how things ought to be. And these values tell us that certain things are always right and certain things are always wrong.

Traditional ethics bound us to Confucian doctrine, which guided us in the way we conducted ourselves.

Now, there is no moral glue that binds us together.

The nation needs to discuss poor parenting, weak moral education and, most importantly, what makes for a good citizen.

Schools should be more than places that produce smart students. They should be the bedrock of morality, the pillar of principles and instiller of good values.

Perhaps disappointed with adults, some Chinese ethicists have targeted preschool children aged from four to six. They believe that this group of young minds is the most fertile soil in which to plant morality. So they have come up with the goal of training more than 1 million preschool children nationwide in filial piety, so that they can set an example for the rest.

But such ethics should be part of the curricula for all our schools if we are to nurture the right values in future adults.

(China Daily 11/02/2011 page8)