IS IT me or has it suddenly become easier for everyone to do the wrong thing? Everywhere I look, no one seems willing to do the right thing anymore. Daily we wake to some story about someone caught doing the wrong thing. There are very few people who are catching our attention for doing the right thing and that is a bit worrisome.
Just what is going on?
If it is not someone being caught sleeping with somebody else’s partner, then it is someone demanding a bribe to do that which they are paid for.
Is it not amazing how public officials are now known to be corrupt and lazy such that if you ever actually come across a public official who works hard to serve, you will be surprised? We were joking with some media colleagues about the tone that is used by people who work in public institutions. They are rude, uncouth and sloppy with their duties most times. Imagine going to big public institutions and actually meeting reception staff who smile and politely serve you?
At some point it became so bad that health workers (who should always be ready to serve) in public health institutions became well known for their rudeness and lazy approach to work. This is when we would hear tales of women in labour being told to move and stop whining by the very people who were supposed to serve them.
Where did this culture come from that someone who would have “begged to apply” for a chance to work in a certain place will become well known for doing the job sloppily? Just think of those secretaries and receptionists who will chat with their friends while you wait for them to attend to you.
Or waiters who do not rush to show you to your seat when you walk into their places of business.
Instead you wander around in confusion trying to find yourself a seat. As soon as you find a seat and start heading in its direction; you will see them run to warn you off saying the seat is reserved. Why not just be on hand to welcome patrons as they arrive?
Surely that is why you would have woken up in the morning and left home for, is it not? Is that not the job that puts food on the table for your family?
This culture of doing the wrong thing all the time has just gone too far. Where will the children get role models to look up to at this rate?
Married men and women are breaking their vows so easily that you cannot help but wonder if they were ever serious about their marriages in the first place.
Young people are not to be left out. Some are even bunking school so that they can go drinking and just be plain irresponsible. Some are having sex and even filming themselves.
This is despite all the messages about HIV and unwanted and unplanned pregnancies that we have filling up every billboard, commercial and advertising space. They even learn about the dangers of unprotected and early sex in school.
But just like the adults they see around them, it is more fun to do the wrong thing.
I am one of those people who gets infuriated when I see people chuck their litter out of car windows.
You see big, expensive vehicles driven by people who look decent slowing down just so the passengers can throw beer or soda cans out of the window.
Who does that in this day and age when we have all been educated on the importance of keeping our environment clean and know the negative effects of littering, not only the outlook of our neighbourhoods but on the environment?
What are we teaching the children? I ask because some people do this when they have children on board.
What we are basically doing is telling the children that it is permissible to litter and destroy the very environment that is our home.
As a result our children become the worst culprits of littering in their schools, throwing litter everywhere as long as they feel no one can see them. They only do the right thing when someone is looking.
Anyone ever think of the far reaching consequences of this? They will be as bad as we are being as adults, in secret until the nasty secrets pop out.
I heard one child of a relative boast to other children,, including my own, about how he was going to drive as fast as his dad when he grows up.
He said it was fun to ride in his dad’s car because it overtakes every other car and beats red robots. As a result, he boasted that he was always on time at school. He said he hated it when his mother drove them to school because she was so slow and would stop at all the robots that do not work.
I listened in a while longer and then another child asked him if he would be wearing a seat belt while the dad speeds across town with them. The little boy said ‘No”, to which the whole group shouted, “You must always wear your belts, that is what my parents say.”
In the end the little boy grew quiet as the other children rubbished everything that he was saying, describing it as ill advised.
I tried to talk to him because to me as an adult, it was clear that he was just talking about his life in the environment that has been created for him where speed and ignoring road rules and getting there ahead of everyone else is something to be proud of.
It was not his fault. Those are the consequences of what we are doing; the wrong things.
When we do not do the right thing, we teach our children the wrong things. We eat unhealthy foods, we drink too much, we swear at each other, we have no tolerance for each other, we do not work hard enough at what we do, we cheat our way through life, we lie, we ill-treat those around us, we short-change others: has all this become fashionable?
The naked pictures we take and circulate, the sex tapes we make, the harmful relationships we get into, not giving to those less fortunate, not fostering love and communication at family at community level, being corrupt and just taking short-cuts will not lead us anywhere but into trouble. Let us make a difference by doing the right thing in all that we do.