The book ‘Value Crisis’ analyses how a lack of basic moral education starting in the family, with adequate parental responsibility, has led to a world where violence and social evils affect peace and harmony. The family as a cell of the society is the nursery for values that can sustain a development that is in harmony with nature, and where the spirit of trust and sharing is primordial. Modern development has stressed too much on materialist living where greed and exploitation have led to multiple crises. The book highlights how universal values can be brought back in our lives.
Professor Soodursun Jugessur is from Mauritius, and is presently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University of Mauritius Council. He is also the Chairman of the Mauritius Research Council. As a physicist and engineer, he is also deeply involved in social transformation, and has written six books on issues of technology and society, besides many technical publications. He is also the Founder President of a non-governmental organization, the ‘Sukhi Parivaar’, (www.sukhiparivaar.org). For eighteen years he worked as Chief of Science and Technology at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and has travelled widely during his education and professional career. He holds a Doctorate in Science, besides other professional degrees.
Professor Soodursun Jugessur's book entitled "Value Crisis, Sukhi Parivaar or the Happy Family, through Family Communion' is most timely and pertinent since families across the globe are having to grapple with a number of issues and often struggle to find a way to hold their families together in peace and happiness. The multiplicity of crises such as the global financial crisis, the climate change crisis, the food crisis and persistent inequitable commerce have ripple effects on the sustainability of livelihoods and by extension on family living and lifestyles.
Families do not constitute monolithic, homogeneous blocks. Families of the 21st century come in all forms, types and sizes. Divorce, remarriage, parenting out of wedlock and a host of other variables have turned the common nuclear families into diverse kinds of units. The last several decades have witnessed nothing short of a revolution in marriage and family relationships. The rapidly evolving cultural, social and economic matrix pose new challenges to families—be they from the upper class, middle or working class. As members of families struggle to chart their trajectories in the midst of all kinds of uncertainties, they often get trapped in their own 'silences'. The latter can have deleterious effects on the individual. This is perhaps why Professor Jugessur's proposed `Sukhi Parivaar or the Happy Family' program becomes relevant. The author notes:
"This program would have taught the people to speak the truth without fear, to express themselves freely and thus contribute to developing trust, mutual love and understanding and the spirit of solidarity." Elaborating on his concept of Sukhi Parivaar', Professor Jugessur makes it clear that communication and dialogue are central to the spirit of family communion.
The book takes us through an analysis of how values and the spirit of sharing can be enhanced. In a world which is marked by Isms' such as terrorism, individualism, managerialism, postfordism and neoliberalism, Prof Jugessur shows us that there is the need for another kind of ism—spiritualism. Drawing from a number of stories, poems, proverbs and quoting from a variety of sources, the author highlights how important it is to connect and reconnect with ourselves and our loved ones. The sea of modernity in which we swim and battle on an everyday basis often makes us forget the little, simple and beautiful things of life. Modernization can bring in its wake a number of opportunities and positive changes but it can also be detrimental to happy and secure living. Modernization can also increase the risk of human beings' erring. Such errings often accompanied by an erosion of values make the Sukhi Parivaar/Happy Family' program even more essential. If such a program and what Professor Jugessur is proposing can assist in preventing further violence, decay, selfishness, aggressive competition, individualism, obscene inequality, ostentation and can contribute to making the world a better, healthier, happier and a safer place for each and all, then every effort should be made to read this book and propagate the program. I have no doubt that the book will make useful and interesting reading for a wide array of people from diverse walks of life.
Why another book on family issues and family happiness when the literature is flooded by umpteen writings on the topic? The search for happiness is an eternal pursuit of humankind. But, in this process, is the power of universal values and family communion properly grasped? Communion is when the doors of our minds and hearts are open to those around, and we feel united in them, sharing the same pleasures and pains that make life.
During my travels and prolonged stays in various parts of the world in the pursuit of acquiring scientific knowledge and promoting the same, I had the opportunity to mix and exchange views on ways to improve living in environments that were often hostile both in terms of natural settings and human frailties. I saw the gradual destruction of eternal human values led by the spirit of strife caused by inequities, exploitation of one group by another dominant one based on a visible lack of value-based basic education that is centered around the needs of colonizers, past and present, a consumerist culture promoted by development pundits, and increased distrust even within the primary cell, the family. Individualism was being extolled to the detriment of the spirit of sharing and fellow feeling. Ruthless competition had replaced the spirit of cooperation and solidarity based on empathy and compassion.
Back home in Mauritius I plunged headlong in science-based social advancement of the people, remembering that as human beings we have the same origins and the same destiny on a fragile planet. But the hostile environment nurtured by years of mutual distrust based on false notions of superiority of race, color and creed, and promoted by the powers around could not allow me to stay without voicing my opinion. This gave rise to the genesis of this book and the setting up of an NGO, the Sukhi Parivaar or the Happy Family. No sooner than this organization was formed and its program exposed, that the world was struck by the awareness of havocs of global warming and global financial crisis! These are now forcing countries and peoples to review their ways of living in the face of major economies going near bankrupt and hundreds of thousands of workers being ruthlessly laid off. Our civilization is under the microscope, and we are wondering why these had to happen!
Daily we are flooded with news of accounts of strife, violence within families and in the society, increase in drug and alcohol abuse, delinquency of children, unethical dealings of people and corporations, wars and a host of unhappy events. We tend to reconcile ourselves as helpless persons or accuse others for what happens, but rarely do we ask ourselves whether we are ourselves assuming our primary roles. Individual and group actions determine the events that we witness. What should then be our position and the way forward? The book outlines a basic strategy for enabling a change in the way we live and act so as to promote a better world.
In a body the primary structure is made of the biological cell, and its healthy growth determines the nature of the body. In a similar way, the world is made up of nations, and the nations of people grouped in families. If we can promote the healthy growth of the people and their families in their physical, psychological, material and spiritual development, we can ensure a better individual, a better nation and hence a better world. We seem to be making an appearance garbed in fashionable costumes when our inside is slowly dying due to a cancer that has attacked the primary cell. The gloss and glamour will not make us any happier for multiple forms of ailments are overpowering us.
So we have to start right at the very roots. That is why caring for the individual, tackling family issues and promoting family happiness are so important to ensure local and global peace and harmony. Our future lies in the way we live at present, and if we can, through family education, enable the members to be more responsible and take charge of their own development in consonance with global needs, we can ensure sustainability of this development. The current issues of global warming and its impacts on our lives are elements that we cannot ignore, and we have to educate and alert people so that they take necessary precautions. Changing mindsets is not easy and we have to start within the family where the primary seeds of development are nurtured.
Our present civilization has been led by science and technology that have enhanced our horizons, prolonged our life, reduced drudgery and brought more material comforts. While the standard of living has increased, one wonders whether the quality of life has really improved. Life is a mixture of both the material and the spiritual, and happiness a state where both these elements are in a balanced harmony within society. The pursuit of happiness is an individual and collective right. Our present bias on a career-oriented education is not giving proper results as little stress is currently laid on universal values that enrich life. It has to be supplemented by these universal values, and this should start within the family, the first nursery, through regular contacts and dialogues. When the roots are properly nurtured, the tree is most likely to be strong and healthy, and bear the fruits as desired.
The way we are presently embracing development has led to continual strife amongst communities and nations, mistrust and violence within families, increased delinquency and drug addiction, corruption at high levels, greed within business corporations, overconsumption of limited natural resources and global warming and global financial crisis. In parallel there is a gradual disruption of the family bonds, leading to a marked sense of individualism and selfishness. Moreover, old family values of mutual support and consideration for the elderly are fast disappearing. There is urgent need to go back to basics, revise our vision of development, and ensure universal values of empathy, compassion, sharing, thrift, trust, love and harmony, essential ingredients in our healthy living in tune with nature. These values are common to all religions, and stress must be placed on promoting them rather than on the theological differences that divide us. The Sukhi Parivaar program through its stress on family communion, highlights and promotes these values, starting from the role of individuals in families, and actions as a group. It caters for the holistic material, spiritual and social development.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR736 Author: Soodursun Jugessur Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2013 Publisher: Allied Publishers Pvt. Limited ISBN: 9788184248425 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 204 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.33 Kg