RS 35: Reflection: Is Our Future in Good Hands?

Read the following two excerpts.  What is your reaction?  Are you concerned by some of these survey results?  Some say, “The survey results do prompt concerns about teens’.  Reflect by answering the above questions. Your reflection must include a discussion about conscience in terms of what you’ve learned in class.   Serious and thoughtful comments only please.  The rubric which will be used is called reflection rubric.

Today’s teenagers say they are confident in their ability to make ethical business decisions. And if it takes lying and cheating to get to the top … oh, well.

Nearly half of students polled in a Junior Achievement survey said they think it’s OK to lie to their parents, and more than a third of them think they need to break the rules at school to succeed.

The survey of 750 students ages 12 to 17 was conducted by Deloitte, a global accounting and consulting firm.

Eighty percent of students surveyed think they will be able to make ethical decisions when they enter the work force. On the other hand, 38 percent think that in order to succeed, rules must be broken. Forty percent think it is acceptable to lie to their parents, and 61 percent of them say they have done so in the past year.

In what the survey sponsors called a troubling sign, only 54 percent said they look to their parents as role models. The other students said they have no role model at all, or look to their friends.

“There is a troubling incongruent between the degree to which teens feel ethically prepared to enter the work force, and the unethical behaviors in which they engage,” said David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith and Work Initiative.

“The survey results do prompt concerns about teens’ future workplace behavior and forecast serious challenges to businessmen around how they will need to prepare and train these future leaders.” (Full article)

[Note:  This article is based on an American survey]

Teens agree with their parents’ values. A nearly unanimous 98 percent of those surveyed said their parents had set a good example of right and wrong. When we asked teens how their own attitudes about right and wrong compared with their parents’, 70 percent said “pretty much the same.”

One of our most disturbing findings concerned the problem of cheating in school. Seventy-four percent told us that teens “in general” think it is usually or sometimes okay. When we asked individuals if they personally thought that cheating is “usually okay, sometimes okay or never okay,” a still surprisingly large 38 percent said it was usually or sometimes okay.

Teens polled expressed a strong sense of responsibility for their fellow man. Eighty-three percent considered it essential to “take action to help” if they heard someone screaming or saw them being attacked. Seventy percent of our teens felt it essential to report a crime they had witnessed. Even more encouraging, our poll showed that teenagers have a strong foundation in faith and morals. Nearly three out of four (71 percent) report they believe in God; 18 percent of those polled go to a house of worship once or more a week. We also asked teens what they would do if they found themselves “unsure of what was right or wrong.” The majority, 43 percent, said they would try to do “what would be best for everyone involved.” Only one in ten would take the self-serving path of “doing what would help me to get ahead.”  (Full article)

[Note:  This article is based on a Canadian survey]