Soon after I arrived during the White Australia policy era, I realised that the oldest generation had to die before the level of expressed racism could be lowered. That did happen. Now, I believe that my generation has to die before the societal tolerance displayed by my offspring’s generation (now entering into middle age) prevails. The future does look good in terms of the acceptance of racial, cultural, or religious differences. Cross-ethnic and cross-cultural marriages demonstrate this, as does fusion cuisine in kitchens.
However, there is no denying that society is deteriorating, partly through the breakdown of family. While marriage is wanted by gays and lesbians, it is becoming less popular with the heterosexuals. The risk of a marriage breakdown is allegedly up to 40% – but occurring over a period of about 20 years. Children appear to be seen by the more able or skilled as secondary in their order of values. Now there is a demand (taxpayer-subsidised, of course) for after-school hours (and even overnight) childcare. Who cares for the impact on a young child of over-long childcare?
I know a boy who was collected from his pre-school only after 5pm. Each day he would misplace (or lose) his jacket or school bag or lunch bag. I realised, having studied child development, that he was angry, not just unhappy, as almost all his classmates had been collected by 3.30pm. During his primary school years, he was rude (when he could get away with it), or recalcitrant in manner in so many ways, indicating to me his subconscious anger. It did not help that his mother did not come home until about 6.30pm, having left at 8am.
I have read of a research project which had found exactly what this boy displayed. As a qualified psychologist, it seemed to me to be an objective study. In terms of maintaining the integrity of society, I can only hope that the appropriate authorities will take necessary action to ensure that children like this boy are not alienated from society.
Will this explain (perhaps to some extent) the random acts of thuggery in public places reported in the media? But then, family breakdown has already been blamed for children and youth unhappiness and anger. Further, there is a possibility that some wives may be seeking to have their husbands pay for the sins of their fathers (against their mothers).
In the unspoken circumstances of an insidious deterioration of modern society, what scope is there to inculcate in our youth a needed sense of spirituality based on the mutuality of human behaviour?