Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The death of respect

I don’t know how many times I have to ask “What is going on in this world?”
Everywhere you look, with so many things it just seems that people are losing their minds, and I can’t help but long for the good old days, even though it makes me sound like an old person who can’t ‘get with the times’.

This time the crazy, shocking events has to do with respect for teachers. A short while ago a video about a school boy assaulting his own teacher and forcing him to leave the classroom, while his fellow classmates laughed and cheered on, went viral, shortly thereafter another schoolboy punched his teacher… How many more of these incidents are we going to hear about?

It’s shocking for me because I come from a time when children were so scared to even speak to their teachers because we never knew what would be perceived as rudeness and if you were rude, there’d be consequences. Now I’m not saying that teachers should be given freedom to beat children up the way they want to. I clearly remember a teacher of mine who had a broken belt, which he even named, and he used it to hit children if they did something wrong. One time he hit a girl in my class so badly that she was bruised. So yeah, I’m all for stopping teachers beating pupils to the extent that it causes harm, but what has happened is that we’ve moved from one extreme to another, which is never a good thing. Now children’s rights are emphasized to the extent that teachers’ rights are trampled on, and this state of imbalance is obviously having its repercussions.

At the same time, I also don’t believe that respect is earned through intimidation, you know what they say, ‘respect demands respect’. So the thing is that both teachers and pupils should be treated with respect, if we lived in an ideal world, perhaps this would be common practice. A beautiful teaching of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) comes to mind. He (pbuh) taught us to respect our elders and to look at those younger than us with kindness. So there’s the answer, a state of balance, respect and kindness, everyone’s rights are fulfilled, and roles are clearly defined. If only people of today could follow the advices of the past.

It all goes back to the loss of values. There was a time when children were taught to respect adults, and to respect their teachers more than any ordinary adult. There was a time when adults didn't abuse the rights of children, sure there were a few cases of ‘misdemeanour’ but it wasn't the general rule as it seems to be today. Then everything went crazy, and now it seems like the world is spinning so fast and so madly that everything’s becoming jumbled and instead of having a clear picture of things, the crayons have melted and the colours have merged causing not a pretty picture, but a merged up mess.

As politicians are scrambling to try and get people to vote for them, and ordinary citizens feel despondent and hopeless because change seems to only be a word in the dictionary, which conveniently gets used only at election time, I can’t help but be the ‘conspiracy theorist’, reminding people that all the Prophecies about the end of time are indeed coming true. All the things we thought were so far away, are now a part of our reality, and all that’s left for us to do is face the facts and hold on to our values, very, very tightly.

I don’t know how much worse things are going to get, I think it has to get really bad before it can get better, that’s the way of things it seems, the swing of the pendulum. And what do we do in the meantime, we certainly cannot sit back and become a product of the messed up societies in which we live, we cannot accept the norms as if it cannot be changed. We must fight back against the moral deterioration which is so widespread. How do we do this? It’s simple- we hold on to teachings of goodness like our lives depend on it! We stick to the sunnah way of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we stick to the teachings of the Blessed Quraan, we stick to religion and ethics, we stick to the values our parents have instilled in us so fervently, we remember to look for goodness in everyone and to make excuses for other people’s faults, because when it comes to it, the truth is that;

We can create new norms if we really try hard enough!

Things like respect, values, and honour can be resurrected even though we may believe that it is dead. 


  1. I definitely agree with you Zarina. We should hold on our values because it's the only way to fight this crazy world.
    Respect seems to belong to an old time. As you say we replaced one sort of madness with another one.
    But I think the world will wake up one day. There is a shift in many minds. We should pray more and more people realize it's time to react to this crazy fall.

    Take care dear. And thanks for sharing your words of wisdom with us. It's always very interesting.

  2. Marie

    As always thanks for your comments, I really do hope the world wakes up pretty soon otherwise things are just going to get scary, and yes we should never underestimate the power of prayer;-)

    Stay well and in peace always