Forget Covid-19, economy, or politics. Our real problem is morals, rather, the lack of it

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, human morals are plummeting as we see a generation behaving like rabid, malfunctioning war machines.

Over the past two years, suicide cases have also increased, so too, has the number of abandoned children, the elderly, and pets.

Many are quick to blame such a phenomenon on the gloomy economy, unemployment, and exploitation of labour. Judging by the current data, more people will be without jobs by the end of the year.

People I know, who understand the dark, mystical world of “the economy”, say we can forget about normal recessions. The one galloping over the horizon right now is going to be a tropical, industrial-grade whopper.

They say the next few years are going to be hell, worse than anything in living memory.

Interestingly, however, our politicians have decided that the biggest issue facing the nation is not the economy or the number of patients in hospitals. It’s the “lack” of leadership.

Never mind that you’ve lost your job – which means you have no income, or you’ve ended up on the streets. Their solution around these problems is – change the leadership.

This madness transcends beyond the economy or the pandemic. I must point out, however, that this is not a political issue. It is a moral issue.

And although it may be alleviated by political policies that push for a fairer and equitable economic settlement and better Covid-19 management, it is clear that our society ultimately needs a moral correction.

Will the new leadership be good or bad for the country?

Amid the many tales of sins and corruption swirling around our politicians, some argue that a change in leadership would pave the way for a new generation of ministers more committed to public service than private gain. This mindless optimism and confidence are toxic.

Some people would even go as far as saying that the leadership before was better, as they did not “steal as much”, and contributed to the country’s growth.

In a way, this blind and reckless loyalty means that they endorse the looting and plundering of the nation’s wealth and resources. This has the effect of “normalising” such behaviour, making it acceptable, and over time, a part of our societal and moral fabric.

The norm would be to close one eye while accepting the “small” looting and corruption as a necessary evil. But by “accepting” these felonies as “normal”, we are giving tacit approval, thereby unknowingly reinforcing this behaviour. The result is the haemorrhaging of the national coffers and the untold damage to the country that we are only now beginning to see.

Moral decay is not unique to politics and politicians.

We see the same problem with state or public sector institutions that do not deliver, and that conceal fraudulent activities. Many of us have had unpleasant episodes with the private sector. The trust deficit is endemic and prevalent across the board.

We should never make the convenient and lazy assumption that a mere change in leadership would result in a push-back against the moral decay at the top of government.

We need to move beyond this sterile debate and respond to these moral fractures in society. We must not condone these infractions – corruption, bribery, fraud and graft, and report even the smallest of abuses. It is time to send a clear, unmistakable signal that this will no longer be tolerated, nor accepted.

Unfortunately, we cannot start combating stagnant productivity or address other social dysfunctions without first diagnosing and accepting the underlying problem – that we are, almost without realising it, allowing moral decay to fester.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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