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Without character, we have nothing

By Kizito Lubano | January 6th 2016

NAIROBI: The new school year has just begun with millions of young boys and girls going back to school. My experience in one of the schools is the emphasis on achievement of three As. The first in academics, the second in sports and the third in character.

I highlight character because it is a subject of interest in our country today where there are unprecedented levels of concerns on moral issues, integrity, honesty and spirituality.

These issues are having a tremendous impact on our youth causing many to shun hard work but instead embrace short-cuts as seen in the rampant exam cheating cases and fraud involving young people.

Good character remains the most important value we need to inculcate in the life of students starting from a very young age. In the life of a human being, the first 15 years plays a major role, since he or she will be learning several things to enable them face their future life.

Sadly, with advancements in modern learning and with children now having much more freedom, character formation is sidelined as greater emphasis is placed on their academics.

It remains everyone’s duty and responsibility to ensure that a child grows up in the full knowledge that character formation is the most basic of all human life.

As someone aptly said: “If wealth is lost, nothing is lost, if health is lost, something is lost, if character is lost everything is lost”. This is true because people continue to respect us even when we are without good health or wealth. However, a person without character is not given respect in society.

Therefore, if Kenyans want a cure for this ‘everything-for-nothing culture’ which is the root cause of rampant corruption, then it has to start with the children and parents hold the key.

They must start by not giving children everything they ask for. They must inculcate in their offspring the value of struggle, of savouring the journey and relishing a good fight, not just being enticed by the juicy destination.

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