This is not the kind of culture that our ancestors were brought up and have modeled to us. In the past, you will only court a lady when you want to marry her. Unlike today, that courtship has lost its true sense and purpose. It is so obvious that as years went by, we have been reshaped by the influences of colonialists who have tried to conquer and exploit our land and spoil our ethical and moral roots.
In the western countries, It is socially acceptable for teenagers to engage into exclusive dating and relationship. What is not acceptable to them is a 15 year old who had no girlfriend or boyfriend since birth. Honestly, I would never prompt every student I know to adopt to their risky culture.
In the Philippines, many families accept these norms and even encourage it as a normal part of a teenager’s life. The media industry also plays a big role in promoting these by their soap operas, commercials and other numerous programs that show teenagers who are into exclusive relationship and dating and even sex. Furthermore, many famous artists also are in it, and it is so sad to see that millions of teenagers are looking up to them and imitating every bit of their lifestyle. What made it worse is that there are seemingly more media personalities who are on the risky side of the road and have become examples of its consequences, than those who have high ethical and moral standard.
Consequently, teenage and unwanted pregnancies account largely to risky early teenage relationships. And if we further look deeper at the root causes and effects of it, we can see both its end to most of the social problems that our country is suffering from today.
Teenage courtship and dating, and student love affairs is a one foot step to the pitfall. A pitfall that swallows every dream, darkens every parents hope and wastes their sacrifices. Though there are many living examples around us, our youth still seems to be missing the lesson and remain incautious despite the warnings. I have always believed that experience is not at all times the best teacher, and a person doesn’t need to go through the experience to learn. However, not everyone is raised and built ideally the same as others. Some doesn’t have the strength to hold on to the rope and must go through the difficult experience to serve as another example to others.
Many among the youth today is in peril. If nothing is done about it now, they will multiply exponentially and analogously with various social problems. I believe in the solution that starts; In the home, where genuine love, acceptance and fear in God abound; In the church, where they are loved, properly discipled, spiritually nourished and discover their purpose; In the schools, where they are boundlessly educated, treated with proper and gentle punishments and moral values is modeled and reinforced; And In the society, where they are heard, cared for, respected and involved.
The youth have so much potential to change the world into a better place. May we all lead them the way they should go… as Abraham Lincoln quoted: “what is taught in the school of today’s generation will determine what society will be in the next…”