Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lost Values

Lost Values / 14ymedio, Fernando Damaso
Posted on June 19, 2015

14ymedio, Fernando Damaso, Havana, 16 June 2014 — The theme of the loss
of values ​​and their restoration in Cuban society has become an
obsession for government authorities, but everything moves more along
the line of speeches, staged scenes and slogans, rather than in a
serious search for the causes and the application of effective measures
to help change the situation.

In the much vilified Republican era there prevailed ethical and moral
values among the majority of Cubans that no distortion of history can
deny. Honesty, respect, dignity, the value of one's word, honor, social
discipline, education, treating people well and many others were passed
along by the family, school and society. There were inculcated in
individuals from the time they were small and became natural attributes
of Cubans of that time, regardless of age or social background. There
were also those who ignored them, but they were few and constantly faced
public opinion and rejection.

This situation was inherited by the new regime established as of 1959.
For some years they were maintained but with the passage of time, the
dispersion of the family, the decline in educational requirements, and
the repetition of empty speeches, a dent was made in the values. To this
is added the failure to keep many promises, the deterioration of the
economy, wages and miserable pensions and the loss of credibility among
the leaders. All this eroded the values that had characterized Cubans
during the colonial and Republican eras.

To now attribute the loss of these values to the dazzle for many of the
consumer society is the wrong approach to the problem. During the
Republican era we were much more consumer oriented than right now,
because we had the economic resources to be so, and always maintained it.

Material misery engenders moral misery. That is the principal cause of
the loss of values. As the material misery of Cubans increased, due to a
broken economic system, not only incapable of producing wealth but even
of producing the necessities for a decent living, the premise of "every
man for himself" was imposed.

It is not with empty words, roundtables, workshops, conferences and
other bureaucratic inventions, nor with the forced signing of ethic
codes, that the lost values are restored, but with concrete, effective
and deep economic measures that will lift the country out of the crisis
in which it finds itself, and where Cubans can again live as citizens
and even dream. These measures must be accompanied by social and
political changes where citizenship again acquires its real value, which
never should have been stripped away.

Until this happens, everything will be a waste of time.

Source: Lost Values / 14ymedio, Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -

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