It’s 2015, we are well into the 21st century, and one important factor that comes with these times is that there are virtually no rules anymore. The phrase “Anything goes” is the unofficial slogan of the modern world. Gone are the days when there were generally acceptable standards of conduct and behavior. Today, any action or inaction, misconduct or impropriety can be explained away or defended. To question these things is to risk to being seen as overtly conservative or intolerant. The concept of having rules or laws is predicated upon identifying and separating good from bad, as well as put a check on people’s tendency towards excesses. In our current world, all appurtenances of caution have been thrown to the wind! The question is how far are we going to keep pushing moral boundaries in the name of being true to self or beliefs? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
Changes and advancements in different aspects of our lives have been the hallmark of the turn of the century. For instance, the world population is well over 7 billion at the moment as opposed to the 6.1 billion that it was at the start of the century. Breakthroughs in the medical field saw Japanese scientists create a form of artificial DNA in 2008 while the first successful complete face transplant was performed in Turkey in 2012. Not forgetting the largest ever Ebola virus epidemic which recorded more than 20,000 cases just last year! In similar fashion, the digital revolution which began around the 1980’s has continued to evolve in leaps and bounds. DVD technology has replaced the VCR, Compact Discs have succeeded Cassettes, High Definition Television is replacing Standard Television and the World wide web and websites have become the major source of information and storing files. The introduction of smartphones and tablets have ensured that majority of the people in the developed world have unrestricted access to the internet.
With this revolution, there appears to be a concomitant evolution in human behaviour. Simply put – our values have changed and will continue to change going by an observation of the society. Time was when indecent dressing or nudity was considered the exclusive purview of commercial sex workers. Today, being scantily clad is a reflection of a confident personality, and so even well respected men and women in the society have embraced the trend. Bleaching of the skin, was once viewed as the stock in trade of women of easy virtue, the illiterates and half-baked of the society but that is now a thing of the distant past. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as at 2013, Nigeria had the highest percentage of women who use skin lightening products in the world! A whopping 77%! This was further affirmed by the NOI polls in 2014.
In the eighties and early nineties, little was heard or said about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people because it was considered an abomination particularly in Africa, but now, that has changed and they are almost as visible as straight people because they now have a community which pushes their cause to be recognized in the society. The average series or movies are now deliberately themed to push the LGBT agenda, so we get subconsciously used to the idea and ultimately accept it as normal. And even though many are happy that Nigeria has laws in place banning homosexuality, it doesn’t negate the fact that homosexuals exist here and are growing in their numbers too!
The recent furore occasioned by a popular reality show star in the USA who recently completed his transformation into a woman after living as a man for 65 years and fathering six children from three women along the way is a typical example of how much our world has sunken into dire depths of depravity. Some may argue that this happened in far away America, but who says we won’t have to contend with a similar scenario in Nigeria soon. What with the way many have drawn their “swords” in defense of the action, opining that Mr Bruce/Ms Caitlyn is only being true to himself/herself and deserves to be happy and respected for his/her decision. And maybe they are right. But the question remains -“how far we will go in pushing the boundaries of rational behaviour and how will it impact humanity as a whole, knowing that the world is now a global village and these things always have a multiplier effect in the long run?”
There are several other ways in which acceptable standards of behaviour or conduct have changed. Nowadays, even in Nigeria, we have to debate ludicrous ideas like child marriage and other such absurdities that elicit nausea in a sane person. I fear that very soon, pedophilia will also be debated in this manner. Already, there are proponents of the theory that pedophilia is a psychological illness and not a criminal condition and so very soon our children may not get the justice they deserve if they are abused, if enough noise is made about how helpless pedophiles really are! Like many other nefarious activities which were hitherto considered to be crimes, but are now being explained with a sob story or some “in depth scientific analysis or discoveries” Pedophiles would likely be deemed not responsible for their ignominious act and be free to walk regardless of the pain they have inflicted in the near future.
Nobody really likes being told what to do. It’s a free society and everyone wants to be able to live as they please, but we must remember that rules are needed and made to ensure society does not degenerate into a state of anarchy. Unfettered freedom is an invitation to unmitigated disaster, and so as we continue to constantly push the barriers of right and wrong which many are wont to see as relative, we must remember that the consequences will also come. It’s certainly something to ponder upon.