To me the day-to-day life is getting more difficult every day. If we want to admit it or not, modern life has changed dramatically. Without trying to paint a picture of previous generations being so much better, I still do belief that the un- written rules of day to day morals and ethics of yesteryear, created a human being that was more in tune with itself and the people around them.

My whole professional career, I have been involved in para military type of institutions and businesses. The discipline that controls this environment probably makes me a bit too conservative to discuss this issue, however like always I do have a strong opinion.

I see the code of morals and ethics as un written rules, created by a society to manage the day-to-day interaction of that society .This society compromising of people from different races, religions and backgrounds. With the understanding that this code do not have its roots in any written laws, religion or culture of any specific group of people. Morals and ethics I therefore belief can be summed up in one word “respect”.

Me being an Afrikaans African, it was very strange that we as parents, decided to send our son to an English medium school. One of the 2 biggest reason for that (will discuss the other one in a future blog), was that I had the utmost respect for boys who comes from traditional English Prep schools .The biggest reason for that being , the perfect way of greeting and the way the boys carried themselves. King Edward the 7th Prep School, in Houghton , is one of these institutions , and before you think expensive , please take cognizance , it is a so-called Class C government school . It is a multi-racial, multi religion school, who to this day see it as their duty, to prepare boys to become respectful, well-mannered young men, and this is something that all the boys in that school had in common. Every boy when passing you, will raise his cap, and everyone one will say “Good morning Sir “. To this day they call male teachers “Masters” and female teachers “Miss” .There were taught to stand up when a lady comes into a room, and that all females are ladies. To this day, I belief it was the best foundation for my boy and I wish more boys had the opportunity to attend. This was followed by 5 years in a double medium school Grey College Bloemfontein that has similar values.

My boy is currently a second year student at Wits, and although he has proven himself to be an acquired taste (like his dad). His manners towards older people and woman is and will always be exemplary.

The basis of a code of morals and ethics, is founded in good manners and it lives and dies by the greeting. Something that is becoming “royal game” in our current society. Neighbors do not greet each other, colleagues do not greet each other, children do not greet parents and parents do no greet children. People of different races, religions and back grounds do not greet each other, and the reason for not greeting is pathetic to say the least.
Woman will not greet men, because they do not want to look forward, men will not greet woman because they do not want to look like sexual predators. It is wrong to greet below your station because you do not want to get to familiar. Greeting above your station is seen as a person who is trying to get favors. Children are not greeting grownups, because they were not taught that, and parents do not greet children, because they do not want to be seen as child molesters.

They paragraph as written above has a lot of jest in it, however a lot of truth. Cities like New York proud itself that nobody greets anybody .In South African cities we follow that trend .If you try to greet or talk to somebody you do not know, they will either ignore you, or wonder what you want.

In the end, what is a greeting? It is nothing more than a show of respect. Something that we need in this current by the bucket load. Something that can start by saying ……….” Hello”……………………………………….

In future blogs I plan to discuss morals and ethics further.

Hein

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