When early humans first found fire, they must have quickly discovered that along with the benefits of light and warmth there came a destructive capacity that required caution and care.
Throughout history most technological advancements have produced positive changes but also unwelcome consequences. In our time we have enjoyed rapid advances in computing and mobile technology, but no matter how appealing the vista created by these new technologies there will always be those who will find ways to exploit us whether by hacked email or spam text message.
Many of us have suffered some form of cyber attack and as a result we are now required to insure ourselves and struggle with complex passwords and procedures to defeat those who would part us from our money and personal information. As our digital guardians struggle to stay one step ahead of the online threat, what might we do to prevent our defences being overwhelmed?
I believe that assisting children to strengthen their characters helps to produce adults who are motivated to serve rather than swindle humanity. A renewed commitment to honesty, trustworthiness and the other virtues must accompany technological progress in order to ensure genuine sustainable social advancement.
So, you might think that there would be lots of resources available to help teachers and parents explore character traits such as truthfulness, but a quick internet search for stories or other media will reveal little more than The Boy Who Cried Wolf, a well-crafted gem that explores the consequences of lying. However in these days when the net is often the first place that people look for anything, there is a desperate shortfall of new digital media to help young people explore the timeless virtues that we have neglected of late. In my next post I hope to share one possible approach to exploring honesty and truthfulness with children.