off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Educated illiterate, professional
Ethics and 
moral values

Education and Tarbeeat are two different things. While the educational institutions provide education, it is the home and family environment where the children grow up and get training in human, moral and family values. It has not much to do with education and the ranking of the institutions. Instances are not wanting when even those educated at world class universities like Harvard and Oxford behave in a way which can be hardly called human. Not only that their attitude, behaviour with others, in the society, their dealing with their colleagues, juniors and seniors is highly objectionable. They at time use language which is not at all in good taste. These people are usually known as “educated illiterates”.

Knowing fully well, they will never obey the rules and regulations, feel pleasure in breaking the rules, don’t mind driving on the wrong side, and often end up in serious accidents. They are seldom affectionate to their juniors and most often never respect their seniors. They are absolutely ignorant about the norms of the society, professional ethics, do not give any importance to human and moral family values. You can see them driving on the roads while busy on mobile either talking to someone or sending a text message, sometime ending up in a serious accident. While attending a meeting, they are least attentive to what the speaker is saying but they can be seen busy on the mobile. They seldom bother to put the mobile on silent mode or switch if off not only in the meeting but even when they go to the mosque for prayers disturbing all others.

This class most of whom is quite highly qualified, professionals are ignorant about the norms of a meeting, have least regard for professional ethics. Even if they are honoured by the organizers to chair a session during a meeting, you can see them either listening, receiving calls on their mobile phone or playing with the mobile while the whole audience is looking at them. They will often get up and leave the busy meeting even when the speaker is making a presentation. Though it can be acceptable in some case of emergency but ethics demand that one should leave the meeting when the speaker making the presentation has finished and the next speaker has not yet started to make the presentation. Keep your mobile on silent mode and if there is a call which is evident with the vibration, quietly leave the hall and then receive the call instead of talking to the caller in the hall disrupting the attention of others attending the meeting. You send them e mail or some gift, they will never acknowledge because they have never been trained in these human behaviour and professional ethics.

All the above are witnessed routinely in meetings in various walks of our life in the society which has unfortunately degenerated as a whole to a great extent, medical profession being no exception. Recently I went to a literary meeting where some of the poets left after reciting their Kalam without listening to others, those still sitting while the remaining speakers were reading their manuscripts or reciting their Kalam, were busy talking among themselves. The President at this literary function was visibly disturbed but after some time his tolerance level crossed all limits and he closed the meeting and addressing those busy in conversation among themselves said, “Go and have a cup of tea which is being served at the back.”

I have narrated the above incidents just to reflect the overall deterioration in our society. One of my doctor friends often says that in “Pakistan affluence has come without education” that is why we see all this odd behaviour. He may be right to some extent but I personally feel that it has nothing to do with education but much more on the way we are upbringing our future generations at home. We all need to give it a serious thought.

Tail Piece: Having surrendered to the International Monetary Fund, we as a Nation are perhaps getting ready for a collective suicide. We as a Nation did not learn any lesson from the 1971 tragedy wherein we lost half the country and keep on making the same mistakes again and again thinking of some miracle to happen which will never happen unless we learn to respect people’s wish and respect their mandate.

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