REFLECTION: Games and gadgets generation PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 November 2011 14:46

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

We need to be aware of this disturbing characteristic of our young generation, and even the not so young. There is strong evidence that many of the youth today are hooked on games and gadgets. They are swallowed up by a fever called distraction and are falling into varying forms of addiction.

There is no focus. There is no long-range, let alone, over-all view of things. Concern for others is evaporating. In their stead, we find a trend of aimless drifting, of immediate and instant satisfaction of wants, of inventing more whims and caprices, of a hardening of an anomaly called self-centeredness.

Temperance, self-discipline, spirit of sacrifice and a healthy form of detachment from things are cast out. Fortitude and determination seem to be regarded as disvalues since the young ones prefer to go soft and easy always, guided only by instincts, feelings and passions.

And so duties like praying, studying, helping around in the house, serving others, etc. are often forgotten. The art of serious thinking and reflection is hardly learned, and can now be covered more easily through the cut-and-paste technology and other forms of cheating that many of the young people are also skilled at.

To help in solving this predicament, we need to look at our own personal lives first, to see if things are working as they should—like whether our spiritual life is in shape, our values in proper order, our virtues alive and developing, our control of our weakness and temptations effective, etc.

We can only aspire to help the young ones if we ourselves, the elders, are in the condition to help. We can only help if our attitudes, thoughts, words, action and example are vitally connected to the ultimate source of life, goodness and love—God. Otherwise, we would just contribute to the worsening of the situation.

Are we praying? Are we able to integrate all aspects of our lives under the impulse of grace and the love of God and neighbor? Does truth, as ultimately coming from our faith, reign in our lives, or are we just contented with practical and temporal principles and guidelines? Do we always come up with effective resolutions daily?

How is our behavior in all the different situations of our life—in good times and bad times, in successes and failures? Can we say that our example could truly edify the young? And can they also say we are authentic men and women of God?

We have to understand that helping the young and provoking a transformation in society and the world would always start and end with each of our personal selves. Things don’t work any other way. But obviously we also need the support of higher entities.

Thus, from our own personal selves, we have to look into the health and vitality of the families, so crucial in developing the young ones. Are they functional? Do parents and children spend time together? Are parents, the first teachers to their children, able to fulfill their duties toward them properly?

Everything has to be done to strengthen family life that starts with the love of the spouses and parents, protecting and reinforcing marriage and fidelity, respecting life in all its stages and conditions, from womb to tomb. Let’s be wary of immoral legislations like the proposed RH Bill.

How about the schools? Do they include in their curricula not only academic subjects but also elements that would contribute to the genuine development of the students’ character? Are they also teaching faith and morals aside from the practical sciences?

Do schools produce not only knowledgeable and skillful graduates but better and mature persons, because they are all at once loving children to their parents, competent workers, patient and compassionate friends to their friends and colleagues, dutiful and loyal citizens to their country and, above all, faithful children of God?

We need to see to it also that the environment around would always be conducive to a healthy lifestyle for the young and for everybody else? Is the media helping in creating a clean, positive and encouraging surrounding? Are we rid of billboards and other ads that give confusing if not outright wrong messages?

And the government? It has a big role to play in all this. Does it go beyond bureaucratic effectiveness and legalistic norms to really engage itself with the true core of the issues that would always be respectful of their moral implications?

We need to get our act together, putting all these elements in synergy, so we can truly help the young.