“Morality gone, gone, gone…” How accurate calypsonians Kelvin Pope aka Mighty Duke (deceased) was with his 1968 calypso Morality Gone. It’s even more relevant in Trinidad and Tobago today as every aspect of our lives has been negatively affected by the lack of morality and by those who are supposed to be exemplars of moral living.
The chaos occurring in our country on an everyday basis, and the apathy and complacency, are the result of the lack of morality in our society today.
Calypsoes are works of art and the vehicles which keep us abreast of the social, political and moral atmosphere prevailing at the time.
There are calypsoes which also remind us how to behave in a morally acceptable way. There is Duke’s How many more must die (1987) and The Mysteries of Life;
Merchant’s One Super Power and King Austin’s The Price of Progress is High and Who will guard the guards. There isthe Mighty Sparrow’s Education which tells us ofeducation being a tool for theteaching of moral values.
Calypsonians of that era and even today compose songs that challenge people to look at their lives. They are classics and their messages are so powerful that they can be sung at any time and place.
Perhaps one consideration for regenerating morals could be to allow calypsonians and calypso tents to be avenues to revive that moral spirit.
Duke, who died in January 2009, was mentioned because he lived it. He was a gentleman. He was always professional in his approach and dress and demonstrated great respect for women — a lesson for many today.
Morality Gone was his acknowledgement that things have gone wrong in society because of many factors, both internal and external, which have influenced our way of life. There is need for morals to be regenerated.
For example, years ago every school-age child knew the Ten Commandments by heart. One thing they knew for certain and respected greatly was the First Commandment: “I am the Lord thy God who brought Thee out of the Land of Egypt and out of the House of Bondage… Thou shalt have no other gods but me…”
Many of us acknowledged then that Almighty God was the one true and living God whom we worshipped, and who gave us these guidelines for living which we followed and stuck to in trying to live out our moral lives.
Another commandment is “Thou shalt not kill.” This commandment certainly does not seem to be heeded among some of our youth when we see how many are being gunned down on a daily basis by their peers.
“One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a strong sense of personal values,” says Linda and Eyre, authors of Teaching Your Children Values and endorsed by Stephen R Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle- Centered Leadership. Theysuggest that the values weteach our children are theirbest protection from theinfluences of peer pressureand other temptations.
Only recently we have seen the impact of technology and King Austin’s The Price of Progress is High is so pertinent.
Social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, smart phones and other forms of the latest technology can be a distraction for some and do negatively affect work productivity.
Some companies have even decided to block access to certain websites. In addition, employees are less motivated to develop their creativity and skills to solve problems because solutions are easily available on the Internet.
– Evangeline Davis, Archdiocesan Catechetical Office