Sunday, March 8, 2015

Value education for a value enhancing lent

Values are a part of human life. We learn values from parents, peers, friends, teachers and the church and other religious places. Values are important for every generation to be in touch with each other and to show interest in all aspects of their life. Media education is done in some schools to make children media literate. Similarly value education can be done to make children well versed in values and how we should live life. Values are regard of what is important in life. When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, things are good.

Values help us decide what job to choose, what compromises we should make and whether we should be traditional or have a modern outlook to life. Value education is the process by which people give value to others by way of education at home, in schools, colleges and religious places. Value education helps people determine how to treat others, what is respect, who are the old and new and what attitude to follow in life. Value education sometimes becomes a part of Sunday school education in churches but can also be a part of special education done in churches and schools.

Lent becomes a good time to help everyone to focus on what their values are and whether they are following it in their lives. It is also a time to introspect as to what our values really are and whether we have been misled into wrong values. It is a time when we can check all that we have been doing and would like to do in the future.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. How do we teach about women as part of value education in schools and religious places? Are women supposed to be looked down upon, weak and befitting protection from men or are women equal to men and befitting respect from men for who they are? Value education helps us to identify what we have been doing and how women have been portrayed in our text books. The furore over the documentary “India’s daughter” mentions such things as our culture, our women, our dignity. But what are women and how should be they treated in this country? Is there a value education for all children where boys especially are taught that girls are equal to them and the same creation of God? Or are religious places and education institutions getting it wrong somewhere?

How could an incident like December 2012 happen where a young girl and promising doctor Jyoti Singh was brutally killed and the perpetrators feel that she was being taught a lesson in values? What values do Indian culture and religious culture portray if this is the case? Can we escape by saying that we are not part of this or should we wake up this lent to say that we will teach good values to our children so that such incidents don’t repeat themselves in modern day India? 1 Timothy 4:7-8 says “Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

How can such brutal acts happen in India you ask yourself and then you ask “How can such inhuman acts happen daily in a place which calls itself very religious”? This lent we have to as men, women, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters introspect what our values are. Are we a brutality waiting to happen? Can we train ourselves in Godliness and factor in the value of human life and all its complexities? May lent help us to instill values in us and regain the lost values inside us. Jyoti do, jyoti do, jyoti do Prabhu. Jeevan do, jeevan do, jeevan do Prabhu. (O Lord, give light. O Lord, give life.)

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