Youths need role models and motivation

Editorial

YOUNG people today badly need guidance and mentoring by their elders to avoid the ills they are facing.
They need, as recently pointed out by Madang MP Bryan Kramer to people in his electorate, good role models. That means elders they can respect who show the correct way to behave, how to treat others, how to go about their daily lives including their work in strict adherence to the law.
Kramer pointed out during the Divine World University cultural day the rapidly declining standards in moral, values and elementary courtesy within society. Children are taught values and proper behaviour at home. But they do not see those in real life. The elders they expect to be setting them the example and showing the proper path to follow are doing exactly the opposite.
Elders show no respect for others, break the law, act irresponsibly in public and generally exhibit a no-care attitude as regards the welfare of others.
Little wonder therefore that young people get confused what is the right way. They then follow what their elders do.
The good role models they expect to see out there are nowhere to be seen.
Older Papua New Guineans are failing or perhaps not trying hard enough to show young people the right way to conduct themselves and to treat fellow citizens.
Political leadership has been affected by bad role models setting bad examples over the years and it will take some time to fix the problem. Kramer, who had graduated from DWU with a Bachelor in Business Accountancy, thanked the university for teaching religious education and ethics as a core subject which had shaped the characters of graduates.
He wants to work with the university to assist young people coming through the education system to become role models for future generations.
Today, young people simply do not have enough good role models to emulate. In fact, there are many bad ones to lead them astray.
Over the years, thanks to those in positions of influence and authority, we have come to accept too many bad practices as being the norm, convenient or even necessary.
For example, it had been an accepted component of public service delivery in Waigani for a long time to expect monetary rewards from those public servant serves.
How this has been stopped or greatly reduced. Such practices promoted by older public servants are not what we should expect from the kind of role models children need and expect. These counterproductive practices have to be stopped if we want a better future for the country.
The public servants at the service counter or document-generating computer room, for example, need to be told in no uncertain term that it is not normal to expect financial rewards from members of the public they serve. They are already being paid wages to serve.
Likewise, the college applicant either meets the academic requirements to be considered for enrolment or he does not. He does not have to “buy” his enrolment on registration day. There are other similar instances where workers expect to be rewarded extra for rendering their services.
In PNG society, some older people are unwilling to respect the law and processes. The young people grow up seeing this and accepting it as the right way to do things and behave.
Hopefully there are some leaders out there who are willing to stand up and end this cycle and set a new trend for the sake of those coming after us.
Role modelling is not only about politicians in the limelight.  It involves parents, company executives, teachers and church elders as well. Our society badly needs role models to guide and motivate the young members of the community to do what is right and respect the values which will guarantee a good future for the country.
It will be interesting to look around today and see how many have put up their hands.

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