While literacy figures might be increasing all over the world, how does this relate to ethical living? Besides providing information to students, how do formal educational systems across the world fare to enable students to become better human beings? That is where moral education can play a vital role. In addition to studying various academic subjects, children also need to be nurtured in basic human values such as compassion, kindness, patience, honesty, and sincerity. They should learn not to imitate others blindly.
An alarming trend here is the misuse of technology by many young people who are supposedly receiving ‘education,’ engaging in various aberrations like indulging in fraudulent transactions and high-tech crimes.
Parents, teachers, and other elders need to give this issue more significant attention. Failure to take corrective measures can ruin their lives and that of others. Morally upright individuals constitute a good society. A country’s prosperity is directly linked to its inhabitants’ ethical quality of life at another level.
Another issue in this context is that of enormous social and economic inequalities in societies. There is a yawning gulf between the rich and the poor in many countries. That is where ‘mind craft,’ an intellectual version of handicraft, could pave the way for people with intellectual and financial resources to create new opportunities and raise the quality of life of the people.
Here, MNCs, public and private sector companies, politicians, athletes, film stars, philanthropists, and people with creative ideas could work together as a team. They need to be persevering in their approach to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Sincerity, patience, and perseverance are values highly recommended in Islam. They work for our own benefit and also for others. The lack of sincerity caused the downfall of Saba (today’s Yemen), once known as Arabia Felix (Arabia the Blessed), during the time of Prophet Solomon and Queen Bilqis.
An agricultural land watered by the Ma’arib Dam produced fruit, spices, and frankincense, thanks to God, Who showered His Grace on hardworking and skilled people. But when their material success led to a decline in spiritual values, their pride had a fall symbolized by the worm eroding King Solomon’s staff. It was a forewarning of Yemen’s downfall when the Ma’arib Dam burst, unleashing a mighty flood a lesson valid for all times.