After a morning at the farm, some friends and I settled down for a late lunch at a popular roadside café in Tagaytay. The place was very full, families with children dominating the crowd, and all with gadgets in their hands—iPads, iPhones, tablets, and what-have-you.
I then told my friends about the predicament of a colleague whose grandson had not uttered a word or has spoken when the child was already more than a year old. Apparently, the boy was exposed to these gadgets most of the time and was never engaged with humans in conversations to develop his speech.
Many parents seek the assistance of these gadgets to calm their active children—be it in restaurants, in plane rides and in almost any place, when we used to just give our children a look, and everything became silent. Did you ever experience being looked at by a parent and each look had a meaning? My Dad had looks for “shut up,” “behave,” and “you’re going to get it when we get home.”
I wish there were an app (application to those who are technophobes) to teach children Good manners and Right Conduct (GMRC). You then conclude that the app developers are also young because maybe they also did not have GMRC in their curriculum and they find it not so important. But GMRC builds character, and character builds values. And values make people what they are when they grow up.
From this gadget-crazy world, we produce children who grow up thinking that success is making more points in Candy Crush, or beating an opponent in some Internet game. And we produce children who also become impatient because if a gadget can bring results in no time, so should other things in life. Maybe this is what leads to lack of perseverance at work?
Next topic of our farming tour group led to “keeping employees.” Why is it so difficult to keep employees and make them imbibe the loyalty juice? Is it because they grew up not learning GMRC? Is it because they grew up in a gadget-full world that gives them quick results, the faster their computers are, without need for poring over stuff or staying the course at length?
Another observation is that many young employees also grew up with fast food meals, and no longer know how to use real spoons and forks, or much less observe table manners. How will you know how to set a table properly when most of the time, you go for take out food or fast food meals served with plastic eating implements?
Again, we need GMRC back in our curriculum. I hope that the Department of Education can consider putting back this important subject if we must produce better citizens who are ready for the world.
Why is it that we only behave when we are abroad? Because of fear of being sent home, deported, or otherwise incarcerated for a petty crime? Why can we not behave, too, when we are in our own country?
I guess because everyone thinks it is cool to just be like everyone else who find good manners a thing of the past?
And so, there you are. No GMRC. No manners. No loyalty. How one leads to the other effect is easy to understand. Next, the absence of OFW parents also make the children grow up with guardians, grandparents and other elders who may not have the time to teach them values at home.
If not OFW parents, you have absentee parents because of a two-income family, where kids are left to TV sets, computer games and Facebook. All these gadgets make our lives simple and entertaining, yet they also remove the precious time we can spend with our offspring. To impart values, to teach them good manners, to teach them that money may not always be a sign of success.
Rich or poor, no one is spared by this new addiction to gadgets, because prices have already been democratized. Coupled with no GMRC taught in our schools, the combination spells disaster for the next generation. So, we appeal to our educators to please put back GMRC, if that is our only tool to balance today’s new influencers like media and technology.
Teachers and parents can only be helped by GMRC. That is, of course, if they practice GMRC as well.
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Chit Juan is the founder and president of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle located in Serendra , Podium and Centris malls.She is the President of Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. She often speaks to corporates, academe and entrepreneurs about her advocacies: Social Enterprise, Women Empowerment and Coffee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter:Chitjuan , Instagram:CHITJUAN or Linked In: Pacita Juan.