Today, the society in general is facing a great dilemma about the values of life. The environment around us seems to be so vitiated that a wrong belief that ‘values don’t work’ has taken deep roots. This belief persists at all levels and the youth is no exception. But when youth becomes the victim of such a dilemma, it becomes a matter of serious concern. Their dilemma should be removed at the earliest and all those who are seriously concerned about the future of the society should make efforts in this direction. The fact is that if addressed correctly, it is not very difficult to do so. My personal experience and belief is that the youth responds better to any discussion on values than any other group. And in this fact lies the hope for the nation and perhaps the whole society.
I am narrating here one such experience I had a few years back. Once I was on a visit to an educational institution and it was the beginning of the session. The educational institution had courses in engineering, management and computer sciences. When I was in conversation with the Vice Chancellor in his room, he suddenly asked me whether I would like to meet the first year students of engineering, as it was the beginning of their session. Since I had some spare time with me, I accepted the offer and an interaction session was organised.
During the interaction, I chose to speak on the question of values only because I thought it was appropriate to the occasion. So after initial pleasantries, I straight away put a question to the group of young boys and girls whether they had a dilemma in regard to whether values work or not. To my surprise, all of them faced such a dilemma as was evident from the hands raised by them. Almost all of them raised their hands and there were many who raised both their hands, such was their dilemma. This was a great challenge to me as removing such a dilemma was not an easy task, more so with the little time available to me for the interaction. Still, I resolved to do my best.
With this background, I started interacting with them. It was a participative interaction, which made my task a bit easier. Having myself gone through such a dilemma, finding an answer in due course was my conviction and I was sure of passing this conviction to them, if not fully then at least partially. I found the young students very responsive and my reasoning or logic in favour of living a value-based life was received by most of them approvingly. Still, there were many genuine doubts, which I tried my best to remove. Our interaction went on for about an hour and I was quite satisfied with it.
Having finished, I again put up the initial question whether they were still in dilemma about values. Now the response was quite different in the sense that less than half the students raised their hand and those who had raised both the hands initially now raised only one hand. To me it was an indication of the fact that at least half of their dilemma had gone. I think it was quite a good success for a debut effort. More than personal joy, it was hope that I got from the youth. Surely, there is need for more effort in this direction.