Saturday, August 27, 2011


Yesterday I read in the newspapers that B schools are planning to introduce and cover the subject of ethics in their curriculum. This thought has come about after seeing many scams that have been perpetrated by the educated professionals. I was heartened by this news as this subject is close to my heart.

I have always believed that the world will become difficult to live in unless everyone lives a life of values. Anarchy. lawlessness, violence, cheating etc. will thrive without values being practiced in earnest by people. We might progress materially but will decay in every other aspect without values guiding our lives.

Having said this, I feel that ethics or values cannot be inculcated by teaching it as a subject and getting students to learn the theory of values. People who have ethics as a subject to be passed to become a graduate might end up mugging this subject and not really understanding it or imbibing it. The very objective of introducing the subject and inculcating it might get diluted if were to be a mere topic for study.

What then is the way forward? I give below some thoughts that come to mind and hope to see it getting enriched by the comments of my readers.

1. Ethics education should begin early. Right from childhood. The parents, siblings and others who make up the child's world (core group) should be actively involved in educating the child right from the impressionable age.

2. The core group should also demonstrate and live a life of values at all times. The child who is thus exposed to value living at an early age will imbibe it and practice it.

3. Encouragement should be given to the child every time she confirms to the value living concept. She should be lavishly praised for every single example in her life which shows values. Her mind should thus get firm on living a life of values.

4. If there are errors or judgement or occasions of default, it should be noted but not excessively dwelt upon. Instead, encouragement / positive strokes should be used liberally to imbibe values.

5. Others should also be spoken of highly for the values they show. This will create an intense desire in the child to inculcate those values too.

6. Children love hearing stories and they should get to hear, see and read stories wherein the themes revolve around values. The main characters should be exemplars in this area.

7. School should also be having curriculum, methods and standards which encourage values. Yardstick for judging a child should be the demonstration of values and not success / wealth etc. acquired through unfair means.

8. Society should also be built on similar lines. People who live ethically should be recognised, appreciated and even rewarded more than others who do not follow. They are the ones who should be treated as the heroes of every society.

9. Only such people who live ethically and with values should be allowed to elect and be elected as leaders and law makers.

I think the above steps outlined gives a fair idea of how I think. I know it can be branded as impractical and impossible to implement. However, I feel that if we want a clean society, we have no option but implement the above. If we work towards this relentlessly, we will eventually achieve our objective.

I am looking forward to your views on how we can create a world for the future generations which will be a pleasure for them to live in.

courtesy: Vishwanath Seshadri

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