POSITIVE VALUES: Benefits of strong family bonds

Posted on August 8, 2014 ยท Posted in Blog, General, Parenting

I HAVE worked in crime prevention, occupational safety and social issues. In the course of my work, I have come across many compassionate Malaysians who never fail to lend a hand, and give a thought to and do a good deed for the less- fortunate.

They have played pivotal roles in the development of individuals, families, society and the nation.

We must not be a society of selfishness or greed, madly pursuing material wealth. We have to build communities imbued with cooperation, and a caring spirit, moral awareness, social consciousness, psychological balance and spiritual enlightenment.

The world is in turmoil. Although there are great advances in the fields of ICT, sciences and the arts, calamities caused by poor occupational safety and health practices, and steady erosion of our sacrosanct value system have cast a shadow of uncertainty on our future.

Earthquakes, floods, landslides and pollution, such as haze and wanton destruction of the environment, have caused hardships to many. Some of these natural disasters are hard to predict and avoid, and humankind is stumped again and again after the shocks. Respecting and understanding nature and our environment can go a long way. Civilisation can be destroyed if it does not make peace with the environment.

We also hear and see heinous things happening. Little boys and girls are sodomised, raped and murdered. Fathers run amok and kill their children while schoolchildren kill their classmates. Political antagonism, racial and religious extremism. Can it be any worse?

We cannot sit in silence. We must look into ourselves to seek answers, openness and willingness to yield to the sanctity of common human decency.

Not just a transient solution for a moment of relief, but the inculcation of lasting values of respect for our fellow beings. Where else can we sow and nurture the seeds of love, but the family.

The key is the creation of a functional family unit. The power lies in family bonds and its profound influence in the development of our youth.

Research had suggested that family-centred therapy approaches are four or five times more effective than institutional drug rehabilitation programmes that focus on the individual. This is a much neglected area in the treatment of substance abusers in Malaysia. Most moral decadence among our young can be traced to dysfunctional families.

We do not want remedies when all we have to do is to avoid the afflictions. Malaysians must defend family values, which can be an effective barrier against social ills and crime.

It is often said that when a country develops, the first casualty will be the family institution. Families will lose their bonds, and most often, the victims are the children.

We have seen how this problem is plaguing developed countries and how their societies are riddled with social ills.

We should learn from them in our push to become fully-developed. We can emulate their development successes, but we must hold on fast to our own value system.

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Kuala Lumpur. nst.com.my

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