Dangerous drift toward moral decline of youths - II

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Jul 2017 10:50:21

THE real-life story of a young earning girl having not a penny in her back account, published in the last week’s ‘Loud Thinking’, triggered many phone calls and e-mail messages sharing similar stories in shocking numbers. Most of these communications were from parents of youths who are lucky enough to find decent jobs for themselves. The refrain of most communications was that their youngsters did not make any effort to save money that they earned. The other invariable part of the refrain was that when accosted, the youngsters answered back unhesitatingly that what they did with THEIR money was THEIR problem and no one else’s. Shocked and sad parents and family elders poured out their grieving hearts, and expected some assistance on that count. 

What assistance can one offer in such cases? -- one ends up asking oneself. How can somebody ask a youngsters to be wiser with her own money? How can a rank outsider suggest a youngsters to pay attention to his parents’ advice and start saving some money systematically? For, if a youngster is unwilling to listen to his parent’s advice, how can another person achieve success in convincing him or her to be wise while spending money, no mater how well-intentioned the person is?

The communications, however, brought to fore one major issue: Disrespect the youngsters have for money -- they themselves may have earned. ‘Disrespect’ may sound a harsh word, but a deeper thought would lead anybody to that sentiment. For, as one has found through a casual survey of a rather large sample, youngsters really do not seem to respect money the way their parents used to do when they were young. This may have something to do with the changing culture of the day. But whatever is being witnessed on this front needs a serious application of mind to seek a solution.

One can categorise young people’s spendings almost blindly. In most cases, the youngsters are spending a lot of money and energy on their mobile sets and their bills as well as the payments for their heavy internet use, despite the concessional schemes various companies have offered. On an average, an earning youngster spends almost Rs. 2,500/- per month on this category. A bigger sum is spent during the visits to malls and shops -- to acquire things like clothes and accessories and cosmetics and similar things. In fact, buying of clothes is a rampant habit.

Personally, I know a youngster who does not mind spending a tidy sum to acquire a shirt when he has to attend something important -- an interview or a party or a visit to the theatre with his girlfriend. And the reason can shock anybody: This young man goes to get a shirt for him just because one of the buttons of his existing good shirt has come apart. That button can be mended in just a couple of rupees -- with the help of needle and thread. But the boy has not time and patience to do that. So, all he does is to pick up his bike and visit a mall and pick up an expensive shirt for himself to take care of the event. A new shirt for a snapped button!

Such people, of course, are shop-owners’ delight. Such people must be pouring into the market countless lakhs of rupees every month just because they cannot or do not want to repair a little button, for example.

One wonders why our society has not so far evolved an appropriate common-sense education of our youngsters on such counts. But as is well known to most of us, most youngsters do not iron their own clothes. They do not polish their own shoes. They do not know how to mend an electric switch for the over-head fan and therefore call an electrician for whose services they do not mind paying a minimum of a hundred rupees. If they repaired the switch themselves, they could save a lot of money.

But unfortunately, saving of money is not on the agenda of countless youngsters who earn some salary every month. Most unfortunately, at some point in their young lives, nobody has bothered to introduce them to the joys of saving, to the graces of having kept aside a lot of their own money for the rainy days, or sunny celebrations of the right kind.
This drift, to say the least, is really dangerous.
And, this is a moral issue.