Christmas, a special occasion which comes once a year is around the corner, and all signs indicate that the festival mood has already gripped most of us -both Christians and non-Christians. The economic hard times we are going through may not allow many of us to celebrate lavishly, as was the case in old good days, but it seems there is an attempt and determination to make the best out of the challenging situation.
As most of the people captivated by the Christmas atmosphere are busy making preparations for the big day, religious leaders are also definitely busy fine-tuning Christmas messages to deliver to their followers and society members as a whole. This tradition is too valuable to be taken for granted. It provides food for thought to many in society, especially when progressive preachers attempt to relate the occasion to the environment prevailing in society.
It is also common for some scribes to complement the work of the men and women of God by saying a few things related to morality and peace in society, in remembrance of the Messiah, who for his entire life on earth strived to create a morally upright and peaceful society - this is what enlightened Christian believers consider to be the essence of Christmas.
Apart from considering the morality theme as appropriate for discussion on the Christmas occasion, it is also true that issues related to morals and peace are now preoccupying the minds of many citizens, especially those who feel all is not well in our society.
Much is being said about the degeneration of morals among the youths, as reflected in the way they behave, dress, speak, and their general carefree attitude to life. Moral degeneration in our society is today demonstrated in some unbelievable incidents, like when motor vehicle accident victims are robbed of whatever property and money they have, and even stripped naked to ensure their dresses are not spared. Rape incidents and mob justice cases are on the rise as well. The participation of youths in such criminal activities is pronounced, but this does not mean they are the only culprits.
Looking at the problem closely, we realize that the young men and women are a product of society and, in the final analysis, the buck stops at the door of adults, some steeped in unethical practices and can’t be considered exemplary role models.
Look at what is happening in the area of governance as a whole. Malpractices like public officials involving themselves in stealing public funds through all sorts of dirty tricks, colluding with foreigners to squander national resources through fishy deals, and other corruption related practices, are anything but a reflection of immorality in society. Both short and long term effects of such immoral indulgence to the present and future generations are alarming. The issue here is that it is not youths who can be blamed for this kind of corruption.
There is political corruption as well, reflected in unethical practices like vote rigging and engaging in dirty as well as defamatory propaganda. The problem here is not necessarily political immaturity, but poor moral men and women by proxy to do the dirty work.
Unethical social interaction is now with us as well. For example, there are reports that the number of sexual misfits like gays and lesbians is increasing in society. The fact that there are now voices in our midst talking about the rights of such groups, including the right of gay or lesbian partners to consummate marriage and raise families (sic ), is an indication that the problem exists.
Examples of unethical practices and tendencies in our society are too many to be discussed in a brief commentary. The question in this case is: what should be done to stem the immorality tide? Some of the Tanzanians have suggested that well thought out national ethics should be included in the new law. Well, there are many ways to Rome. Let’s think about the issue as we celebrate Christmas. I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New year
Henry Muhanika is a Media Consultant(email@example.com)