It was late Saturday night, Lisa Donath, a teenager drug therapist was on her way home from work. She was not feeling well that time and thought it could be due to the blood she contributed the other day. While at the station, Lisa fainted and fell right on the path racks near a couple. With no hold-up, the guy called Ismael Feneque, a pattern maker, leapt in to save her, 20 seconds prior to the next train arrived. Within such a short time, Ismael had the ability to save Lisa and climb to conserve himself.
When asked, Ismael stated he did not bear any reservations about saving Lisa, even if it could have triggered his own life.
In our everyday life, we encounter lots of battles and unfavorable experiences. We become aware of rape, murder, break-in, and lots of different type of criminal activity that make us feel downhearted about people and the world. Nevertheless, stories of heroism like what Ismael did inspire us to believe that there is still hope in the future, if we just teach our kids the right worths and virtues they ought to bear.
In view of this, the family, school, and neighborhood must contribute to highlighting good worths and virtues amongst children.
In this paper, we talk about the worths and virtues that every American youth should imbibe regardless of originating from various cultural backgrounds. The structure of American classes nowadays is typically made up of kids from different multicultural origins. Thus, multiculturalism presents the difficulty to every instructor who intends to teach about American culture and values.
Regardless of originating from various backgrounds, kids should have values and virtues common of every American youth in order to make sure specific adoptability and noise social structure. The obstacle includes a variety of factors to consider.
Among which is the belief in moral relativism that tend to lead the youth to lose moral conviction. Sommers (in Surname of Editor, year) identifies today’s youth’s inability to judge situations with strong moral conviction. Most of them are morally misled, and cannot decide whether something is good or bad. When asked the same question, one interviewee explained that it depends on the person to decide whether what s/he does is good or bad. This inability to identify good from evil is alarming for there is a better probability that they will do what is wrong more than what is right.
For Sommers, this kind of thinking is “no better than the philosophy of a sociopath” (390). A morally deranged person does things on impulse and not by purpose. In Aristotle’s (in Surname of Editor, year) “Nichomachean Ethics,” he emphasizes that our desires should be directed towards a good goal or else it will be “empty and in vain” (366). He believes that a person who knows right from wrong can likewise identify between physical and higher pleasures. Like Sommers, he supports the idea that there are standards of goodness.
People are endowed with the capability to determine what is right and what is wrong based on the outcome of a certain act. Thus, a good deed results in a good outcome, one that is beneficial to those who are concerned. To develop the ability to distinguish right from wrong, Sommers suggests a “great relearning” where students will be taught of general rules that would help reform their thoughts towards doing what is good. A great relearning is necessary in order to unlearn and correct wrong notions and behaviors developed in the past.
To do this, students should hear a lot of stories and examples of good deeds such as those of Ismael Feneque’s heroism. Everyday, one of them will be assigned to report an act of heroism they encountered from the news or read from the Internet. This will help them realize that courage or heroism is one of the values that Americans should have. The heroism of American people, especially those who fought in the wars, should be strongly emphasized to similarly motivate students to learn and value freedom. Krauthammer (in Surname of Editor, year) renders a commentary on recurrent crimes, among which is rape.
According to him, the incidence of rape has multiplied over the years from the 1960s. In response to this, teachers should emphasize the importance of respect for life and rights. Mainly, children should learn how to give respect to others, especially to human beings. By exercising respect, people can live harmoniously, Respect for the law, property, and freedom of speech are just some values they need to relearn. In teaching respect, the teacher should allow students to share about their own culture. At the start of every lesson, one student will share practices, traditions, food, etc.
which are exclusive to one’s culture. This way, students will be exposed to cultural differences, thus promoting respect and acceptance of other people’s individuality. Another value that students need to develop is honesty. For Aristotle, the wise speak only the truth. In Sommers (in Surname of Editor, year), the author confronts the crucial reality that many of our youth today do not bear the truth. Sad to know, some are doubtful of important historical facts such as the Holocaust and the WWII, where many lives were fought and lost in vain.
This sad reality about the youth challenges us again to submit students to a kind of relearning. Teaching history, memorizing facts, and reading about important events in history are certainly not enough to show our youth the truth about the past. What they need is evidence. Therefore, to teach truth students should be made to watch videos and documentaries. These resources should include documentaries on the past including our ancestors, and the present situation of our people and even those who are experiencing hunger or oppression such as those in Somalia or in Tibet.
These documentaries would help them realize the truth. After viewing, students should be asked to write reflections based on what they have seen, and these reactions should be processed through discussion in class. In addition, lessons for teaching honesty and truth should include practical applications. Sommers (Ibid. ) emphasize that teaching honesty includes teaching students the importance of decency. In the academic setting, honesty may be exercised by not plagiarizing. Plagiarizing somebody’s work demonstrates the loss of honesty and respect for other people’s right.
It also results in the loss of human dignity. The students should understand that these values are interconnected, thus neglecting one results in neglect of another. Related to honesty and respect is the value of patience. The modern trends that we live with nowadays teach us to do things in an instant. Instant coffee, instant meals, and instant income are just some things we enjoy because we escape the need to wait. This results in our inability to wait for the right time before something comes to fruition, or before something is perfectly ripened. It also results in the loss of patience.
Many youngsters nowadays have forgotten the value of patience. Thus, they resort to copying or plagiarizing other people’s work, they resort to liposuction instead of exercising, or they try to secure jobs that can make them earn instant cash. In response to the need to redevelop patience, teachers should design activities that require students to do a comprehensive and hands-on project such as conducting research, interviews, or preparing videos and other activities that they would enjoy doing and at the same time allow them to spend time working together as groups.
Cooperative learning would teach them the value of patience and hard work. Heroism, ability to determine right from wrong, respect, honesty and patience are only some American values and virtues that we need to develop among students in order to reform society. Although these values are universal, we accept the fact that there are critics and skeptics who will oppose to teaching them in the classroom. For instance, some may think that heroism cannot apply to most students.
However, it should be stressed that values such as heroism can be demonstrated in simple ways. For instance, a simple help to carry a classmate’s books is an act of heroism. Checking one’s own paper can be an exercise of honesty and judging right from wrong. Also, a simple drawing exercise using natural pigments can promote patience among young students. Every teacher should consider that the little things they do and the values they develop in the classroom can do wonders eventually when students set foot in the big world.
Aristotle. (Publication Year). From the nichomachean ethics. In Name of Editor (Ed. ). Title of book (366-373). Location: Publisher. Krauthammer, C. (Pub. Year). Defining deviancy up. In M. I. Surname of Editor (Ed. ), Title of book (384-389). Location: Publisher. Sommers, C. H. (Pub. Year). Teaching the virtues. In M. I. Surname of Editor (Ed. ), Title of book (394-398). Location: Publisher. Sommers, C. H. (Pub. Year). Are we living in a moral stone age? In M. I. Surname of Editor (Ed. ), Title of book (390-393). Location: Publisher.