I NEVER STOP TO PONDER on the bourgeoning level of criminality in our society, today, noting the serenity of life in the communities as I was growing up- society was far more sane and safe and social life was captivating. Lawlessness, having been left to thrive unchecked for so long, since the departure of the military, seems to have metamorphosed into insanity as nothing is considered too sacred for desecration. For me, a combination of poor and irresponsible governance with irresponsible and absentee parenthood are culpable for this most dangerous trend. The ruffians, con men and gangsters we call politicians have not just turned our societal lives upside down, having been bad role models to the youths, they have re-defined virtues, success  ethics for us, in a way that sets our society on the path of annihilation.

Irresponsible governance has adversely affected the homes with an ineptly managed survival-of-the-fittest economic model which has sent parents away from the homes for long hours, seeking to make ends meet - the consequence of which is absentee-parenting and its damaging effects on the social formation of children. Parents rarely see their children, let alone seeing what they do or the societies they keep. The gullibility we exhibit in accepting other peoples’ cultures while parting with ours also, in a way, contributes, largely, to the moral decadence that stares us in the face, making our communities to be among the most dangerous human habitat. A most valuable part of our culture, community-parenting, in which all adults in the community assume the roles of counsellors/parents/guardians did a lot in shaping the lives of youths in the olden days. Efforts I, once, made to stay away from school in my primary three was prevented by the concern of another parent who sighted me and went to report me, only on the second day of my absenteeism! I little had an idea any person in the community, other than my parents, knew me, let alone caring about how I lived my life, until that incidence. My mother, on arrival, sighted me and went into hiding, asking a pretentious-passerby to have me captured after which she surfaced, threatening to hand me over to the teacher.

Today’s individualistic lifestyles (gotten through westernization) has laid to rest all about communal lifestyles, including communal-parenting. The excessive emphasis on the concept of human right has defined trespass, thus limiting greatly the extent to which parenting/guardianship can go before  interfering with this thing called fundamental-human-right of the child - though a wonderful concept, which ensures that human beings relate with an acceptable level of civility, defined by the assembly of nations to protect individuals from abuses. Some civilized nations adopt this doctrine, in such a bogus manner, today that human social relations, including  parenting, gets highly curtailed and too artificial-sanctioning a child for misdemeanour can fetch parents sanctions from governments! It’s that bad! The social disorder and chaos witnessed in such countries, and others that imitate them, attest to the oddity of unrestrained freedom for a minor -freedom desires to be defined with a corollary of responsibility. Some western nations that seem to have seen the oddities inherent in this me-an-my-household-alone  are now, retracing their steps by encouraging communal life as a way to mitigate growing insecurity. Some urban counties provide funds for block parties, during the summer, through which residents get to know each other and interact as communities!

Parenting, regardless of the level of civilization, remains one of the most important means of making the best out of youths and society must not just encourage but also support parenthood and, in fact, make parents jointly-culpable for the untoward acts of their wayward children, if/when such children run foul of societal laws. Irresponsible parenting by some parents shouldn’t be allowed to deprive the entire society of the much needed peace. Governments must encourage efficient upbringing of children, through mandatory establishments of Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) through which performances of children are discussed by teachers and parents, jointly. Old Students Associations might be encouraged, so old students can give back to their old schools, through interactions with their students, thereby serving as positive role models. Every effort should be made to tame gangster-politicians so they stop to engage our youths in antisocial behaviours for their self-serving political interests. The political atmosphere would, thus, be sanitized and made fit, only, for the home-trained and the decent.

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