THERE is widespread public concern about moral decay in society today more th an it w as a few years ago. P eople everyw h ere are concerned about decadence and w ant society to come to senses and practise moral standards such as being honest and considerate towards others, h elping one anoth er, being reliable and committed and serving all people w ith out discrimination.
Moral decadency w as also one of th e issues th at came up during Mw alimu Julius Nyerere Commemorative Conference held at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) recently.
Participants raised it during presentations, saying th ere w as a need to introduce integrity and eth ics lessons to impart moral values to young people.
This didn’t come up by chance, but as a pressing social need. Integrity is essentially being h onest w ith oneself and w ith oth ers and adh ering to moral and eth ical principles and values.
People everyw here today feel th ere is a need to restore it in young people from family to national level.
They blame decadence on globalisation which has led to a disreg ard for traditional values because of movements of people and th e g row th of information communication technology (ICT) th at h ave prompted taking on board oth er people’s values to th e detriment of traditional ones th at build community life and interdependence.
It is true th at th ere is a vacuum in moral standards and as a nation w e must engag e in soul-search ing so th at w e find w orkable solutions to current moral problems.
As w e often h ear: ‘ th e w orld h as become one big villag e’ so much th at th ere is more social interaction today th an it used to be in th e past and people from one part of th e w orld can easily influence oth ers to value certain foreign values and disregard traditional ones even if th e latter make th em one nation.
For instance, in th e past people grew up respecting elders, know ing th at th ey represented th eir ow n kith and kin.
Now adays, it is no long er th e case. As w e commemorate the 20th death anniversary of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere today, let us commit ourselves to restoring traditional values th at build community life and interdependence.
If we do, we will be able to curb many social evils we experience today such as corruption, depletion of natural resources, th eft, armed robbery, money laundering, h uman trafficking and killings.
We should only learn from oth ers w h at builds us and our nation, but not what destroys us and makes us turn against one another.
Mwalimu w as a person w h o put national interests before h is ow n and w as able to fig h t for th e rig h ts of all people for hebelieved in eq ual h uman dignity and equality.