Essays on changes in society

The cinema and its larger than life world appeals as an affordable alternative. Digital television provides digital interaction between the viewer and the producer. Theatre on the other hand, and its contents may take on a larger dimension, but we receive it directly in flesh and blood — one to one. The magical atmosphere between an actor and spectator who are constantly aware of each other and the theatre's level of engagement is fundamentally more human and Continue reading this essay Continue reading. Toggle navigation MegaEssays. Saved Essays.

Topics in Paper. Example Essays. This was an open forum for a public debate on what needs to be done with moral education in a society that is in the process of rapid shift from an established socio-political system to a new system not yet fully defined and articulated. A very striking feature of our times is the accelerating rate at which change occurs. The magnitude and speed of the changes that humankind has undergone in the past century and a half have been unparalleled in our history.

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In every area of human endeavour a great deal of new knowledge is being generated, and old practices are being rejected one after another. At this point in history, no one can possibly deny that society, in all its aspects — social, economic, political, religious and cultural — is going through a process of fundamental transformation. In this past century and a half, every country and region of the world has seen old structures swept away through radical reform or revolution.

The ideals motivating these deliberate, sometimes violent, attempts to change society have often been extremely noble and laudable.

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Yet, it is now an historical fact that these attempts have, by and large, failed to generate this sense of purpose, the values and the standards of behaviour that are essential for the creation of a new society. As a result, for decades humanity has been living in a state of crisis that seems to deepen almost daily. In the midst of all this crisis, of course, we often hear the voices of traditionalists, of those who romanticize the past and urge us to go back to our old ways.

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The fact is, however, that return to the standards of the past is not possible, for the forces released during this period have set in motion a process of transformation that is clearly irreversible. The unavoidable conclusion we reach when we examine modern history is that old moral codes and belief systems have proven entirely inadequate when faced with the challenges of an age of transformation. So, as we explore elements of the framework for a new process of moral education, some of the first questions we must ask ourselves are: What is the nature of the great transformation that is taking place in human society?

Clearly, this is not the occasion to examine in detail a theory of history, but I would like to present a few ideas that will help our explorations in the next few days. During the cycle of human life, an individual passes through the stages of infancy, childhood and adolescence, before undergoing the transition to adulthood. We achieve great clarity about the meaning of our times if we accept that humanity, in its collective life, also goes through similar stages, and that we live at a time when mankind has emerged from its childhood and stands at the threshold of maturity.

The turbulence and the upheavals that prevail in society today can then be seen as characteristic of adolescence, which is the period of transition. The onset of maturity, of course, brings new capacities and presents new demands, for which the attitudes, thoughts and habits of childhood are inadequate.


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The challenge now facing humanity is to leave behind the ways of youth and to develop those qualities and capabilities that will allow it to respond to the requirements of a new age. As for the forces that have to be reckoned with at this historical moment, let me suggest that they are associated with two parallel processes. One process is essentially destructive, while the other is integrative. The operation of the destructive process is evident in such phenomena as the upsurge of racial animosity and nationalism, the spread of terrorism and violence, the breakdown of families and the corrosion of human relations, the increasing signs of suspicion and fear, and the unquenchable thirst for vanities and misdirected pleasures.

In relation to this point, let me share with you a favourite passage of mine:. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine.

The destructive process described above, of course, is quite visible and its effects are seen everywhere, every day. To see clearly the other parallel process, which is constructive in character, does not prove to be as easy.

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But if we analyze the events of the past century with a mind that is free from the very social, political and economic theories which, in themselves, are destructive, we will become thoroughly convinced of the operation of a vast and powerful process of integration. Earlier stages of this process have successively called into being the family unit, the tribe, the city-state and the nation. The distinguishing feature of the present period of history is that the integrative process will now bear its finest fruit: the unification of the entire human race in a world civilization.

It will not abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided.

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It will not attempt to suppress the diversity of ethnic origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It will call for a wider loyalty and the subordination of national interests to the claims of a unified world. It will oppose both excessive centralization and all attempts at uniformity. Its most cherished concept will be unity in diversity.

To continue with the quotation I read earlier, this principle of the oneness of mankind:. Its appeal is not to be merely identified with a reawakening of the spirit of brotherhood and good-will among men, nor does it aim solely at the fostering of harmonious cooperation among individual peoples and nations. Its implications are deeper, its claims greater than any which the Prophets of old were allowed to advance. Its message is applicable not only to the individual, but concerns itself primarily with the nature of those essential relationships that must bind all the states and nations as members of one human family.

It does not constitute merely the enunciation of an ideal, but stands inseparably associated with an institution adequate to embody its truth, demonstrate its validity, and perpetuate its influence. It implies an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced.

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With these ideas in mind, let me express now what we may consider as the first basic concept of the framework of moral education that we are going to explore during the next two days. The individuals educated by this process will need to develop a clear vision of the requirements of the age of maturity and learn to contribute to the transformation of present-day society. They will have to aim constantly to express more fully the virtues inherent in mankind, and weed out faults, harmful habits and tendencies inherited from their environment.

Yet they will have to be conscious of the unique characteristics and contributions of their own nation and people and dedicate themselves to the enrichment and advancement of their own culture. Above all, they will have to lend their strength to processes that counteract the negative forces undermining the foundations of human existence and align themselves with the forces leading mankind to the fulfilment of its destiny.

A second concept, which is basic to a framework for moral education, is that, in order to act effectively during the age of transition, the moral person we are envisioning here must possess a strong sense of purpose. But neither is it sufficient to say that a moral person has to be purposeful.

The nature of this purposefulness will have to be explored carefully in the process of moral education. Each village was independent and the sufficient social life was governed by caste and community rules. But the introduction of modern means of transport and communication dissolved economic self-sufficiency of Indian villages.

Village economy became an integral part of the national development of transport and communication political consciousness, social legislation and industrialization have casted tremendous influence of Indian society and culture. In this venture, India has blazed a trial for many new nations to follow, in social revitalization through new attitudes, new practices and new way of thinking. A planned change has been directed.

The impact of these factors may be observed in the following spheres of social life.