Monday, September 27, 2004

Civic Duty

Random violence on the street. Underage sex. Binge drinking. Drugs.
All these things are on the rise in Ireland especially in poor and disadvantaged areas.
It seems that there is a lack of morals and empathy towards others in todays society. As the Catholic Church loses its influence it seems nothing is holding back todays youth in their activities.
The new godless generation arent scared into compliance like they once were. And many take their home problems out on oters around them.
A moral vacuum has been created with the fall of religion. And this vacuum must be filled in order to help future generations become more forgiving. And this filler should be civic duty.
We should target children in their early school years and through their entire education. There should be a certain part of each school day set aside for a civics class.
Of course i hear you say we already have such things. But these are generally seen as an oppurtunity to doss rather than to learn.
Many times in secondary school inexperienced teachers thought the subject. I remember in my own class my physics teacher was the civics teacher.
We should spend less time teaching religion and more time teaching civic duty. perhaps even we could put civics as a leaving cert subject to make it more important.
The civics class could include lessons about government and the enviorment. It should teach how to be tolerant and respectful to others. It could bring in people to give talks to the students. About the impact of littering on society. The dangers of drink and drugs. The victims of crime telling their story. Racism victims tell of their torture. How underage sex can affect those who undertake in it and the many dangers involved in it. And in general get across that every action has a consequence and every consequence will force responsibility onto the doer of that action.
It could get across the notion of respect,not through fear or commiting vile acts, but through hard work and achievement.
In many inner city communities their can seem to be a lack of aspiration. People feel stuck in a rut. They feel they cant improve on their situation. The civics class could get the young of the communities thinking about education and stable jobs. About how the most respected people are those who try their best and dont hurt others. about how life can be improved by staying away from crime drinks and drugs. Learn how to set up sports clubs and share hobbies. The list goes on and on.
If we can get into everyone that anything is possible if you try and if you stay respectful of yourself and others you can live a healty satisfying life.
If we can get them young we might stand a chance.

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