|All must help – Jul 13|
Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of our Society
By Vernon Khelawan
A mere four months after Carnival 2014, one bandleader has already sent the signal that his 2015 presentation will be no different from that of 2014 and the many years before that – with costumes (if we can call them that) which will again have our beautiful women parading through the streets in the skimpiest of clothing.
For many decades our Carnival celebrations were regarded as part of our rich cultural heritage and that was when masqueraders played mas’ for the fun of it, their authentic portrayals giving us a taste of eras past and sometimes a glimpse of the future. Today that heritage has been deeply diluted and what we are fed is a convoluted version of beachwear, with some feathers and beads thrown in for good measure.
But not only have the cultural values of our Carnival been rejected and devalued, the Carnival band has largely become a business with the sole aim of making money, plenty of money. Presentations are no longer about authenticity or pageantry: it simply is about money…nothing else.
When, therefore, the Church decides to make an effort to revive our collapsed moral and spiritual value system, expressed in the banality of our Carnival presentations, the job appears awesome. Catholics are now being called to urgently pitch in and save the younger generations from the decadence into which the society has fallen.
The Church communities need to get together and come up with some creative ways and means to reach the young ones to arrest the downward spiral into immorality and greed, and to teach about love for one another ‘as the Lord loved us’.
Parents and teachers have their work cut out for them if this Third Pastoral Priority – Regenerating the Moral and Spiritual Values of our Society – is to gain traction in Trinidad and Tobago. Values, like the ones the older generations were taught, are almost non-existent in today’s society. One only has to read the newspapers or view the nightly news on television to understand that.
It is for these reasons the Church is encouraging all its constituent parts to embark on programmes that will give hope to the society at large. The task requires more than just talk shops or seminars. It needs the down-to-earth skills of all of us.