Spectacular achievements in any sphere of life may be the result of a rich scholarship, but it is assumed by certain cultures that a nation is enriched more so by those students whose exemplary characters are not compromised by the acquisition and mastery of scientific and other knowledge, or by affluence and accumulation of wealth.
Human values are indispensable to the wholesome survival and existence of all humanity, and it is regrettable that the upsurge of falsehood, injustice and undesirable conduct of all sorts has so caused the neglect of these values which are the fundamental principles of a good life, that they are eclipsed if only by waiting to emerge in the fullness of time.
The strong appeal is to students to raise the level of consciousness towards the disciplines that eradicate those bad qualities which rapidly multiply, and enslave the human mind.
Students are encouraged to control the tendencies that lead to their personal ruin and by extension to the ruin of the society. The seemingly inadequate guidance of parents and teachers, due to the complexities of the present day, is to be held responsible.
The view that erosion of values and virtues can be partially attributed to the vagaries of political intervention, which can stultify the growth of a nation, is debatable, but may be considered.
Students are therefore exhorted to lead ideal lives through the restoration of basic human values; to keep standards high, noting the decline in moral and spiritual values; to live as whole human beings, recognizing the human values that are latent.
Students having the privilege of higher learning should be charged with the responsibility of creating and maintaining a culturally stable environment, by themselves being refined and cultured, bringing credit wherever they go, and respecting, while enjoying the great reputation that higher learning has established all over the world.
(Lalu N. Vaswani is chairman of the Sai Institute Of Education West Indies (Barbados Branch) and national coordinator of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization of Barbados Inc.)