MISBEHAVING TEENS

Lack of social values a serious indictment

We seem to be obsessed with politics instead of more important matters.

In Summary
  • Breakdown in social values fuelling the rapid rise in wickedness.
  • Even bad politics, which we love to sing and complain about, is a result of the unhealthy social values and environment.
Police officers with children found engaging in sexual activities in a house on Sango estate, Homa Bay town, on July 3, 2020.
Police officers with children found engaging in sexual activities in a house on Sango estate, Homa Bay town, on July 3, 2020.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The story of the 44 youngsters busted in a licentious house party in Nairobi is an indictment of our society. In recent years, we have seen a rise of teen gangs, the burning of schools, drug abuse and teen pregnancies.

But we seem to be obsessed with politics instead of focusing our attention on more important matters such as the breakdown in social values, which is fuelling the rapid rise in wickedness.

The older generation of Kenyans benefitted from a society that was more caring; raising a child was considered a communal responsibility in the altruistic African sense of communalism.

 

In those days, an adult could discipline a misbehaving child unlike today when such attempts are bemoaned as an intrusion, if not a violation, no matter how offensive the child’s behaviour or how noble the disciplinarian’s intention.

This has led to issues such as youth radicalisation and terrorism; the consumption of corrupting media content, toxic relationships, love and poverty-related deaths as well as the rise of negative role models.

It is estimated that at least 700 youths have joined al Shabaab. This points to our diminished social and moral values as a nation.

Even bad politics, which we love to sing and complain about, is a result of the unhealthy social values and environment. Politicians did not come from the moon. They come from homes and estates around us, as well as our clans, tribes and religions.

The task of addressing the pandemic that is the lack of social and moral values ought to be prioritised if we are to save current and future generations. While this is not an easy task, it can and should be attained as a good for all.