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General Combating Youth Violence

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, May 3, 2006.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    Combating youth violence: Parents, children are your REAL wealth

    By HARBANS SINGH KANDOLA, President of VIRSA, Sikh Alliance Against Youth Violence, Vancouver, B.C. Canada

    Over the last 50 years our world has made more economic and scientific progress than the previous 500 years. Modern society is enjoying luxuries our forefathers never dreamed of. The sad fact is that during the past 50 years the percentage of unhappy and depressed people has grown. A recent survey showed that out of the five hundred million people in Europe and North America, over one hundred million are depressed.

    The reason for this is a big cultural shift. People nowadays are trying to find happiness in material wealth. It is never enough for greedy people. Recently a psychologist wrote that we have become slaves to material wealth. We like our lifestyle, but we hate our lives. How do we measure success in Western and Punjabi cultures? We measure success with money, status and power. No wonder many of our young boys are involved in drug trafficking in order to become rich overnight. As parents, we are exhausted while our children are neglected.

    In SGGS, Guru Amardasji says: "Maya hoi nagani jagat rahi laptaey. Jo iski seva kare tis he ko phir khaey."

    We have become rich materially but bankrupt morally. There is so much evidence to show that money can buy you comforts of life, but not peace of mind. Two years ago, the Dalai Lama came here and said: "As human beings, we need minimum life needs but you have all the comforts of life. Why are you unhappy?" Are we in Canada able to buy happiness with material wealth? I guess not. I remember watching the story of two American brothers on T.V. They had everything but peace of mind. One wise man suggested to them that they go serve poor people for a little while. This is what they did for a year. They experienced peace and real happiness for the first time in their life. An American writer named Modino wrote: "When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst failure of life."

    As Punjabi parents, we show our love for our children by working long hours and making more money for them whereas our children need our love, affection and guidance, not money. I understand that we came to Canada for a better life for ourselves, particularly for our children. I also understand that we have to have basic needs of life. But once we achieve that, our priority should be children, not accumulating more money. Otherwise, we loose both our peace of mind and our children. Our real wealth is raising our children to be responsible and good citizens.

    Lust for material wealth has led people along the unhappiest path. During 2000 and 2002 there were many scandals in the stock market. These frauds were perpetrated by those who were millionaires. Most of them are in jail. You read the story of Martha Stewart, a very rich woman. Her greed for more money took her to jail. Recently there was a survey done of Canadians who owned ten million dollars or more. They were asked if money has given them happiness in life. Most replied no. They said real happiness came from good family values and a happy and healthy relationship between parents and among parents and children. Research also shows that many lottery winners could not find happiness with all their money.

    Guru Arjun Sahib says in Sukhmani Sahib, "Bina santokh nahi ko rajey." I know it is easier said than done, but real happiness comes from being 'santokhi.' My humble advice to all parents is to spend time with your children, show them love and affection, and guide them. They are your real wealth.

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  3. Sinister

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    May 4, 2006
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    "We have become rich materially but bankrupt morally"

    I understand this authors concerns, but I would have to disagree with this statement. Its veiws only skim the surface of the problem with being contempt. The moral developments that have been made in the past century (ei: the ideal capitilistic corporation) has improved not degraded our moral standards. The Corporate world has introduced to us greed but it has also shown us a new moral path. One of; industriousness, punctuality and discipline (which im afraid to say religion or any other entity did could not enforce as potently and effeciently).

    Another fact the author missed is that people 500 years ago yearned for wealth as well! there was much much more fraud and crime in the past than that of which exists today (they use to put chalk in bread, lol). Bandits were a common site. Armies of entire nations would plunder and degrade other established societies.

    Morality as we know it has improved. The human psyche is more n-sync with societal morals than it ever was in the past. We are morally superior creatures today than we were in the past (read the geneolgy of morals by Neitszche for more follow up-i might not have been clear)

    "Lust for material wealth has led people along the unhappiest path."

    We live in a society in which the success of an individual is measured by his/her wealth. This is our drive in life and to change it would be a violation of our entire social structure (ei: what communism tried to do).

    My simplest proof: life expectancy is up, quality of life is up. So why are people complaining that they are unhappy? This is a innate human drive (I beleive). Unhappiness is the PERSONAL FORCE which enables us to pursue our goals with more rigour (almost like darwins natural selection force: we want to be the strongest). If we are contempt with what we have (which is a state that resists the natural instincts of man) then our drive or pursuit for development (and not too mention the drive for life) would cease to exist.


    the list never ends
    NO ONE IN THIS WORLD WILL EVER BE CONTEMPT WITH WHAT THEY HAVE. To be contempt is to be anti-human, a worthless product of society that will be born and then die without a even a whisper of opinion.

    -bottom line economics is more potent than religion (hard to beleive with all the suicide bombings we keep hearing about: but think of it on a macro scale). The material world and the spiritual world are the same thing; without one you cannot have the other. Religion in and of itself is an economic instituition (material) before any spirituality is introduced.

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