There are holes in our Moral Fabric ...?

By Rev. Fr. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Our Nigerian society is sick. It needs urgent moral attention. The volume of corruption and indifference to the plight of others are simply despicable. We do not seem to be worried about the situation that affects the well-being of others any longer.

We seem to have thrown the fraternal thoughts for others well-being to the winds. What is important is what affects me and perhaps my immediate family and few friends. The rest of men and women can go to blazes. It is not my responsibility to worry about them. After all, the state is there and the government is pursuing shadows.

In fact, corruption and corrupt practices grow and mature with this form of reasoning. It is no wonder that we have lost the pristine sense of collective responsibility that makes society more than an aggregate of individuals. We fail to appreciate the fact that we form a moral entity.

The 'Any man's death diminishes me' slogan of John Donne does not mean anything any longer to anybody. Here we try to make the highest gain out of the death or tragedy of others. Each man seeks his own advantage to the detriment of others. The web of inter-relations seems to be broken. Our moral fabric has grown threadbare. And the holes have begun to show.

The volume of violence and denigration of life in our society today has reached an alarming stage. Violence is everywhere, in our homes and in most public places. Among every age bracket is found one form of violence or the other. Even among the infants, the readiness to maime and destroy others is evident in the manner infants express their disagreements among themselves.

Peaceful dialogue to resolve conflicts has not been learnt. Conflicts and disagreements are settled through fighting. And of course, we know that conflicts are not resolved through the use of conflicts. But we have not given our children the framework within which to learn civic virtue and responsibility. Morality is taught by being lived. It is learned by doing.

On the contrary, we have bestowed on our children a culture of violence, ritually celebrated at football grounds and on films and videos. They experience violence as street culture. No society can allow this and survive. Violence has victims and they are usually the most vulnerable and innocent.

Especially worrisome in Nigeria today is the culture of Kidnapping and hired Assassination .. These acts have become real business among us. Opponents of all sorts and people whom we do not like for one reasons or the other become our targets. We hire Assassins' and plan the doom of our presumed enemies. In fact, the reckless ease with which human blood is wasted sends shocks to our marrows.

People do not bother any longer about the sacredness of human life. If you are targeted for assassination or kidnapping and you do not have the money for the ransom, your blood becomes a sufficient substitute. In fact, we have reached a critical juncture in our social evolution. And we have given morality a rough ride. Yet, we shall not know peace nor live in freedom if the trend of violence is not reversed.

We cannot continue to live the culture of death and hope that the future generation will ever exist and behave differently. And that is why, despite all fashionable opinions to the contrary, morality, civility and social responsibility matter. We ought to be touched by the pains of others and remain moved by altruism. Indeed, we ought to do good to others.

Hence, decency, charity compassion, integrity, faithfulness, and courage matter to us. And in the words of Sir Moses Montefiore, "We are worth, what we are willing to share with others".

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