Morality constitute a set of behaviors considered acceptable by the larger part of the population within a human society based on their way of life and the basic principles governing their association with one another. It relates to the ethics and norms of that particular society helping them set boundaries between the right and the wrong. Morals are more of the written and the unwritten guidelines on how one ought to live, act, and behave within himself as an individual and toward others. Morality is not absolute rather its relative varying with time, place and social composition of a particular population.
Immoral people are those considered to have deviated from the expected ways of life within their social set up. If all the people within a social set up observe and uphold the moral principles, order and cohesiveness exist within the society. Most of the social strife, crimes, and anarchy are as result of the degraded social moral standards of today society. Such social challenges are depriving people of a happy and fulfilling life. Immorality has brought to the society an increased rate of all forms of crime, drug abuse, sexual irresponsibility, social irresponsibility, corruption and abuse of human rights and many other negative effects to our lives.
Morally upright people usually live a happier and fulfilling life than the immoral ones. To start with, they live a life free of the consequences of immoral behavior such as getting into the wrong side of the law, suffering the consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior and improper social behavior among many other harmful result of the immorality to our lives (Samuel pg. 78). Furthermore, moral people get more approval from the society unlike the immoral who the society considers outcasts. This acceptance helps them to feel the sense of belonging to the society and thus raising their self-esteem hence their lives are more fulfilling. Moral uprightness earns you a lot respect from the people you are associating with thus boasting your confidence which is essential in one desire to achieve self-actualization. Self-actualization is the epitome of a fulfilling life for most people with great ambitions (Najemy pg. 68).
Morality instills self-discipline to individual since they can only engage in that which is right even in the absence of supervision or monitoring and this is a key to success. Success achieved through morally acceptable means give the owner peacefully conscious by knowing that they will enjoy their success without a possibility of a shameful and disgraceful fall in case of revelation of the source of their success.
Living a moral life in today’s society is a big challenge since immorality surrounds us in all aspect of our lives. We live in a society that exhorts and rewards immorality thus making it very hard to stand up and defy the trends and uphold your morals. The groups faced with the biggest challenge in their quest to remain morally upright are the young and the youth. Being at their formative stages in life in terms of their behavior modeling, they find themselves at crossroads not knowing which behavior to learn and which one to shun.
One impediment to living a moral life is lack of proper guidelines. Family units have broken and even those that have remained are void of love and emotions, and characterized by absentee parent leaving kids to grow up with little or no guidance from their parents. With the vast information availed by the advancement of technology, the kids pick any kind of misleading information from sources such as internet, movies, books, magazine without any parental control and consume it raw. The result is the transfer of the social rottenness exhibited by adult transferred to the kid. Therefore there is need to reconstitute the families and make them functional units. Secularization has also made people miss proper guidelines on morality since religion was forming a major source of moral teaching and always emphasized on upholding good moral (Akbar pg. 18). Other obstacles to living a moral life include lack of self-control, self-restrain, and a weak sense of self-discipline.
With the social liberty granted by the American constitution it call for one to have high self discipline to avoid being swayed by the immoral people into engaging in immoral behavior for any gain or for conformity to the immoral society. Self- discipline and the ability to stand up for your principles requires a person with high self-esteem, built by believing in one self. This will prevent one from justifying wrong deeds to favor the decision of the moment as well as desisting from engaging in acts that may harm others even though he/she stand to benefit. Wrong role models are another contributor to individual moral degradation since we tend to ape those whom we consider our role models because of their achievement in a particular field in life. Unfortunately, some of our role models are immoral and since we have idolized them, we end up behaving like them (Power pg. 213). It is therefore very important to ensure the choice of your role model is a person of reputable character.
There is need to incorporate moral education in schools curriculum with the aim of influencing the character and behavior of the youth in a positive manner by inculcating good moral values to them. This will help to cultivate in them a regulated interpersonal interaction with the society and the environment. The goals of moral education should address the social and personal needs of the child to facilitate own development and happiness with respect to their age and grade in school. To achieve these objectives and goals we need to employ some of the approaches outlined below in order to inculcate good moral values to our youths.
Application of spiritual psychology will help the youths to realize their inner spiritual dimensions and get in touch with it, which will improve their mental, emotional, and physical health. This helps create awareness of their spiritual potential hence increasing their ability for moral development (Akbar pg. 26). We also need to teach our children how to love and care for themselves and others around them, their immediate environment and communities, and the esteemed values and virtues in the society. This motivates them to engage in acts that are acceptable in demonstration of their love.
Mental, emotional and behavior problems faced by the youth degrades their morality. This is why physiological counseling in school is vital at all levels of education to help the students understand and develop themselves with emphasis on promoting self-acceptance through awareness of self-esteem and building of self-confidence. This will help them achieve their self-actualization academically and social by maximally exploiting their self-potentials (Murdoch pg. 13). This also helps to develops within them the ability to self-regulate their mental and emotional states. For educators to achieve much of these there is need for them to change the perception of their student as objects and vessel than need to be filled with knowledge and start considering them as humans with minds, soul and body. They need to show empathy to their students and mentor them to discover the truth for themselves instead of dictating everything to them (Power pg. 304).
The development and enforcement of set standards of proper social behavior in elementary and high schools is also a key step in incorporating moral teaching in youth education. This will form the main baseline for moral education teachings and practice with reinforcement from the school administration, by rewarding proper conduct and reprimanding wrong behavior. The mentors of the students will be able to monitor the development of moral conduct in their student by checking against the guidelines defining the standards of good conduct in family, school, and society (Murdoch pg. 29).
The guidelines when formulation the standards are the customs, culture, ethics, and ideologies of the communities from which the students originate taking care of the diversity of those societies and ensuring universally acknowledgment and acceptance of the standards as good norms and behaviors (Murdoch pg. 64).
By considering all the approaches described above and implementing them, it will be possible to instill morality as part of the education process for our youths. This will ensure that we bring up youths who are morally upright and avert the possible catastrophic moral collapse facing our modern society and especially within the young generation.