Models for the young, anxieties of the age

Category: Life & Society Views: 1722

Throughout history, in all parts of the world, there have been men who, by sheer dint of character, were able to stand up and be seen as beacons. In our own history from our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and down through the ages, there have been people who were models for all of us. In today's world, full of glittering lights and dazzling atmosphere, it is very important for young people to look up someone. Of course, we must not forget our Islamic figures for they are an inherent part of our culture and traditions.

Young people in our society, however, should have other role models. And since sports forms part of our young peoples' lives, I believe our sportsmen should be role models for them, behaving in a way, both on and off the field, that conforms to our ideas of good behavior.

At times, we witness scenes on the sports field that are embarrassing. On many occasions with my son present, I have been embarrassed at the behavior of both players and spectators. It is important therefore that our sportsmen - who are looked at with great admiration - be role models for decency and good behavior. They should play a role in social development, seeking the welfare of all.

How can they do this? First, by imbibing virtues, goodness and discipline. They should realize that even their personal behavior is focused on by both the public and the media. Any deviation will result in wrong signal's being sent to the millions of fans, mainly young people.

In the United States, sportsmen like the late tennis player Arthur Ashe played a great role in building up confidence among underprivileged children. Mohammed Ali Clay and Abdul Hakeem Olujuwan give pride to those of African descent. In Pakistan, Imran Khan is known for his service to society.

Prince Naseem Hamed who only recently defeated his American challenger, is admired by millions in the Arab world and beyond. On and off the field, these and other sportsmen pronded inspiration, hope and courage to young people. They are role models of good behavior and the will to succeed. Let us hope that our sportsmen too will provide the shining example so badly needed in today's turbulent world. 

Many of us have suffered anxiety attacks. For those of us in the media, high anxiety is almost a way of life. And for anyone who saw Mel Brooks in the film "High Anxiety", you will know what I mean.

For those who are troubled by anxiety, there is an army of psycho analysts and psychiatrists; however, a recent report from New York made me laugh. It seems the hunter has become the hunted. Wealthy and neurotic New Yorkers are abandoning their psycho-analysts in droves. So acute is the crisis that many consultants are taking early retirement.

Therapists this year have suffered an 11,000 hour drop in patient therapy hours. This is depressing for the profession. In 1985, the average New York practitioner was seeing 4 patients thrice a week. By 1997, the average psychoanalyst has one patient 3 times a week. Now the psychoanalysts are trying to understand the drop.

It may be attributable to a more pragmatic New York. Life is becoming better. New theories have replaced the old Freudian ones. New Yorkers feel better about themselves. They go out more often, visit friends, theaters and movies more than ever. They also have more money. There are a wide range of choices available. Why on earth would any one of them want to go to psychoanalysis?

Reading all this, I wondered whether we had any statistics on psychiatric patients in the Gulf. How many are they and what are their preferences? What is makes me anxious is that in the Gulf we have no up-to-date statistics.

Besides who will admit to seeing a psychoanalyst? I do. I am seeing one thrice a week - on the tennis courts.

The world has become a global village. As I was puffing and panting on the treadmill, a Saudi gentleman next to me was explaining to another runner about EL NINO. He was highlighting the disastrous effect of this phenomena that may engulf great areas of the world. He went on to give all of us within hearing distance an insight into global warming, gaseous effect, drought and tidal waves.

This produced a virtual standstill.

On reflection it does cause alarm. Today we people of diverse cultures, economies, shades of political opinions are all connected and related by the environment. We all face certain challenges which, if not tackled carefully, will cause disaster and suffering.

It is therefore important that governments and other agencies unite to evaluate and produce solutions to environmental problems common to us all. 

The sorry state that we are in, and by "we" I mean the whole world, is that the negative effects of industrialization were never realized until recently. What can a mere two decades of environmental control and anti-pollution measures really achieve.

Every dark cloud, however, has a silver lining.

Leaders of business and industry have themselves realized the effect of their negligence and new forms of control are now in evidence. There is also a growing awareness among people the world over that our world must be made a clean and healthy place.

It is important that this awareness campaign be constant. Thus we can ensure a healthy life for our children.

  Category: Life & Society
Views: 1722
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