Rwandan youth moral crisis vis-à-vis postmodernism

Sandra’s nocturnal call to Muvara’s house It was beyond Muvara’s understanding that a 17 year-old girl named Sandra knocked at his door at 11h12 pm requesting him to host her that very night, without bothering to tell where she was coming from. Sandra said she was afraid to go home and face her foster parents.

Sandra’s nocturnal call to Muvara’s house

It was beyond Muvara’s understanding that a 17 year-old girl named Sandra knocked at his door at 11h12 pm requesting him to host her that very night, without bothering to tell where she was coming from. Sandra said she was afraid to go home and face her foster parents.

This real story happened a month ago. As a fresh graduate living on his own, he was quite puzzled. He told me he first thought the young girl probably in her senior high school was joking.

After several desperate and disturbing knocks on his door, Muvara opened. After questioning her kindly, he thought of letting her in or kicking her out. A bit later, as he narrated, he accompanied Sandra to her uncle nearby.

In the same period, I heard of 4 similar stories from the teen girls in high schools around the university where I teach.

Therefore, I started questioning their morality as a bachelor too. Some of my fellow scholars told me that morality is a subjective matter while others credited it to be objective.

I hurried to the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. It claims that morality descriptively refers to a code of conduct put forward by a society or, some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for their own behaviour or normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

In this article, we shall look at morality in normative point of view as a code of conduct put forward by all rational persons to enhance their good cultural values.

When “morality” is used in its universal normative sense, it needs not have either of the two features that are essential to moralities referred to by the original descriptive sense: that it be a code of conduct put forward by a society and that it be accepted as a guide to behavior by the members of that society.

The main intention is to analyze the current behaviors of Rwandan youth in the postmodern era and give them a practical guideline to how they may come out of the moral demise.

In simple words, postmodernism describes a wide-ranging change in thinking beginning in the early 20th century.

Postmodernism has had large implications in philosophy, art, critical theory, architecture, literature, history, and culture. It is often used in a larger sense, meaning the entire trend of thought in the late 20th century, and the social and philosophical realities of that period.

People do sometimes talk about Christian morality, Nazi morality, or about the morality of the Rwandans, but they seldom talk simply about morality all by itself.

A mother of two, Christine, commented on my argument, “With the exception of a rare few, like us, nowadays it seems that family/parenting has taken a backseat to earning money and keeping up with the jones.

So, many kids are raised by the TV and video games, is it any wonder kids today are so disrespectful?’ It is up to you reader to respond.

The relationship between morality and postmodernism

While looking at the ethics of post-modern teens, the findings are very alarming:

A report of the ethics of the Youth Today is not encouraging at all. Imagine, its results highlighting that not much better seems to have changed since 2000. It has some startling trends as shown below:

-Casual sex: 13% of interviewed schoolgirls admit that they ever had casual sex with sugar daddies, taxi motor-cyclists and drivers, and fellow mates while 9% of the school boys admit to have had sex with sugar mammies, housemaids, and classmates.  

- Cheating: to the extent that in high school, 71% of all high school students admit they cheated on an exam at least once in the past 12 months (45% said they did so two or more times).

-Telling lies: 62% lied to their parents in the past 12 months (79% said they did so two or more times); 38% lied to a teacher (58% two or more times);

- Stealing: 23% of males and 16% of females say they stole something from their colleagues or a store in the past 12 months.

- Drunk at School: Nearly one in fifteen (16%) say they have been drunk in school during the past year (4% said they were drunk two or more times).

Remember all the above interviewees have the age-range between 12 and 19 years old.  The above statistics made me wonder: Are today’s youth really in a state of moral decay?

Well, for starters, they (statistics) mean that something has to change! Attitudes like these are shocking in any age group but when they come from the teens they are also heartbreaking.

Aside from the fact that the attitudes shown by today’s youth directly shape what the world will become in the future, when we see statistics like these it shows that the adults of today are not doing their job properly.

Somewhere along the way youth are feeling lost, confused, let down and alienated. Results like this do not just speak for the character of a generation; they are testimony to the way that adults represent the world to the younger generation.

It shows the sort of example being set in the culture at large while we are the best examples from whom this young generation learns efficiently.

Youth and the media

It is very easy to point fingers at media, celebrities, divorced or single parents, working mothers, and “liberal” attitudes toward things like sex, drugs and alcohol. Much too easy. But the things that disenfranchise youth and lead them astray are rarely that simple.

In fact, the tactic of laying blame at convenient targets usually only makes the problem worse. Whether adults want to accept it or not, teens like “their” celebrities, “their” TV programs, music and movies, and “their” culture.

The popular things are so because teens are drawn to them, not because divorce rates are high or women are in the workforce. Instead of laying blame, adults should try listening to the youth.

It is a proven fact that when adults listen, when there is an open dialogue between parent and teen, issues are better resolved and compromises more readily reached.  (to be continued)

Email: juvenelson@gmail.com

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