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Necessity for appropriate role models in our society

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Tue Apr 1, 2013

Before we flip the switch on March’s observance of National Heroes and Heritage Month, it might be useful to continue reflecting on a closely related issue – the necessity for appropriate role models in our society.{{more}}

For many observers, the word ‘appropriate’ is key, because they feel the role models favoured by a majority among the current generation may be contributing to the strong and growing embrace of a culture of leisure and low productivity, and a matching distaste for consistent, productive hard work, whether on the job or in the classroom.

The observers bemoan the little apparent excitement and enthusiasm for, or celebration of academic, professional or career related excellence or achievements. That you no longer see students readily gathered in groups debating a new physics or math theory. And this at a time when new information and communication technology puts most required research material at the students’ fingertips.

Motivation for participation in any major project or event seems to depend on the inclusion of a built-in entertainment element.

And while we have always held our entertainers in high esteem and treated them with adoration, the relationship was kept in perspective, never undermining the strong appreciation for education, skills training and hard work, as the society sought to move beyond marks set by the early trailblazers with the few opportunities available then.

Today, it appears that parents are the ones more anxious about their children making use of the more expanded opportunities.

As we move to name additional national heroes and put structures for national awards in place, we need, as a society, to be also mindful of the need to foster a culture of productive work and a love of learning.

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