What do you do when the shepherd kills the sheep? What do you do when the anti-corruption officer is accused of corrupted practice? What do you do when parents murder their offspring? The individual who is entrusted with responsibilities is often the one with the opportunity to abuse them. When these abuses involve public trust or the lives of innocent children, the reaction is one of anger, disbelief and revulsion.

The delicate bond of parent and child

A child should be inculcated with a sense of integrity of his/her responsibility towards others in life. We do not live merely for ourselves. We have to think of the consequences of our action towards the people around us. But our global culture is leaning towards self-interest and self-satisfaction. We like to instil a competitive and individualistic spirit in our young people as is evident in the continual popularity of reality TV shows. Some even encourage back-stabbing and underhand methods to win at all costs. The more intensely dramatic and competitive the contestants are, the higher the ratings and profit for the TV stations. But the drama and competition only serve to teach our young to propel themselves to the forefront at the expense of others. And these are celebrated by reality TV. At the same time, it is ironic that reality TV seemingly encourages democratic or public voting to determine the winners. The individualistic nature of the programmes, from the scheming and conniving in Survivor to the unrelenting harshness of the judges in American Idol sends out the message that it is all for one in the world we live in. Thus, democracy is but a cover for the real aims, which are self-victory and self-glory. It’s a lot like the ‘real society’ we live in where politicians play the fiddle in democratic elections but secretly amass their own wealth and secure their hold of power after the elections are over. Figured that’s why it’s called ‘Reality TV’.

The obsession with the self is also propagated by the boom of the global beauty industry. Men and women are obsessed with beautifying themselves from the tip of the hair to the nails on their toes. The new generation is so caught up with themselves that they spend a lot of time and money on pruning and preening their physical or outer selves. This is of course fuelled by the multi-billion industry which ranges from hair care to cosmetics, body care, fashion, slimming products, etc. The mass media and entertainment industry help to fuel this highly profitable business. When the self becomes the number one priority, childcare, education, welfare, charity, defence, social programmes, spiritual growth and others take a back seat. This spreads from the scope of an individual or family to the society and country. The brittle shell and superficiality of physical beauty serve to harden the impenetrable selfishness and egoism of the individual. A vain society is a doomed society.

As a result, who are we to blame when parents kill their children in a moment of frustration or when facing stress, and politicians are corrupted and more concerned with filling their own pockets than the welfare of society?