[EDITORIALS]Education begins at homeThe family is the basic unit of our society. Society will be ill and weak if families are not sound and healthy. These days we are in despair about heinous murders to repay reckless credit card loans and corruption scandals among president's three sons. All this is because families failed to function properly; social education within families has not been given the attention it needs.
Today's family is not what it was in years past. Two or three generations used to live together under one roof, unlike today. The number of two-income families has dramatically increased. There are many fathers living alone because their children are studying abroad with their mothers. The divorce rate has been on the rise. Last year there were 6.7 marriages and 2.8 divorces per 1,000 persons, which means that more than one in three marriage ends in divorce.
The rapid dissolution of the family unit is forcing us to two extremes. At one end are egotists who care only about their family members. The other extreme is an irresponsible tendency to care only about their own comfort, even at the expense of their families.
Family egotism is breeding misguided values. Some people say that it is better for their children to hit others than the other way around. We are giving no appropriate care to children and elders who cannot sustain themselves.
Meanwhile, more and more people tend to take life lightly. According to several surveys, many teenagers think, "We are comfortable with using any means as long as it makes us rich," or "We have no one to respect." Teenagers who hold such views must be growing up in the arms of dysfunctional families.
We are forced to live more complicated and diverse lives than our grandparents did. That is why society and schools are now doing more of what families used to do. But still, much of our offspring's education should be conducted in the family circle. The education a person receives in childhood influences him or her for his entire life. Families, where lives are born, should teach the most basic principles like respect for life, chivalry and a sense of shame for wrongdoing. If family values are properly taught, our society will not suffer from corruption and heinous crimes.