Values and the real world


When speaking of the need to preserve specific human and ethical values,and more precisely, of communicating them to the new generations with conviction and firmness, sometimes we experience the uncomfortable sensation that our proposal is to tackle matters unexcusably abstract, disconnected from the din and accelerated rythm of daily life.

A value, or phylosophical or moral precepts are, by definition, statements that we receive from the kingdom of all that is unmaterial, from the universe of pure reason, from the apparently deceptive field of things that don’t touch or see each other.

Therefore, it is quite clear that many people, young and not so young, find hardly attractive, ideas or proposals derived from the field of doctrinal or moral speculations.

A young man or an adolescent, who usually face challenges or commitments by touching the most urgent resources of their vital experiences, probably, are not very interested in confiding on meditation as the ultimate reason that ennobles human behaviour.

Hence, the difficulties that parents, teachers and communication systems from different ambits stumble on, when they try to defend and praise definite conducts or values in the presence of one or more young listeners.

How can we achieve that the abstract become attractive and convincing, in a world that never tires in favoring specific things, like the urgent, the ”here and now”, what is near and can be touched and material things?

But one day the unexpected happens, daily reality disrupts and blows up in pieces. A horrible and unexpected piece of news lands on us; in a high school situated in a city in the south of the province of Buenos Aires, a fifteen year old student burst into his classroom grasping a gun and has killed or hurt quite a few of his schoolmates.- Those last lessons that seemed abstract and remote, all of a sudden have taken on, a pathetic and visceral reality.

It is terrifying that the price to pay for the accelerated trip from abstraction to reality, from remoteness to the inmediate, has been a monstrous crime very difficult to foresee or immagine. What until recently seemed too ”theoretical” or ”weak” to compete with the young people’s daily needs, has occupied, tragically, the center of the scene.

We always go back to our values. But to which values? By chance, principles that are encouraged and defended from a definite frontier of thought, are they the same as those glorified from the opposite slope? Are there no points of dissent and opposition between one ideology and another, one religion and another and between a cultural conception and another?

Yes, this is true. But pluralism and disimilarities disappear when superior values turn up, the only ones compatible with respect for life and dignity of human beings.

Cultural tradition of humanism would have no value whatsoever if it hadn’t left us this basic lesson. One might imagine that such an important lesson is reserved for supreme levels of abstraction. It is not so; history teaches us every day that nothing related to mankind is, strictly abstract or different from reality.

And even those basic lessons need to be transmitted and reasserted day after day,- in the classroom, in the home, in the manifold forums of social communications- with powerful strength and unavoidable passion.

All communication media- and LA NACION is included in the list before any of the others-play a leading role in the task of transmitting the supreme values of humanism to the new generations.

Journalism, either graphic, by means of the radio or television, must exercise self-criticism to know if he is fulfilling this mission or if sometimes it is accomplished with frivolity, lightness, sensationalism or with inexcusable ambiguity.

Translation: María Pensavalle