Youth and morality; perspectives, challenges and empowerment  by Arulanandam Neethimanickam SDB
    Chennai, Sep. 21. 2017 On 14th of September 2017, a theological symposium convened at the campus of Citadel-Provincial House, Chennai. The aim of the day was to bring home the theme ``Youth and morality; perspectives, challenges and empowerment.``  The staff and the students of Becchi, Don Bosco theological Centre (DBTC), organized the event. The number of participants was approximately 80 to 90. The students of third years with the help of Fr. Alphonse Phillip, the vice rector of the community initiated the program. The program started at 9:00 am with a short prayer service, conducted by Bro. Daniel of third year, followed by a lighting of kutu....
    Fr. Bellamin Fernando, the rector of the institute welcomed the gathering and felicitated the honourable guest speakers of the day namely, Rev. Fr. Dr. devya Paul, Dr. j. Henry Rozorio and Rev. Dr. J. Samuel Savio. Fr. Don Bosco Agustin, the Principal of the College presented a rich introductory keynote highlighted the key concepts of the day. He invited all to partake actively and thirst for the knowledge.
    Rev. Fr. Dr. Devya Paul, extensively presented on the topic ``Youth: The Inner World of Conflicts: A Psychological Foray``. In his presentation, he clarified the terms like adolescent, teenager, youth and young persons and said that we often used them interchangeably. He said that youth is the prime time of life and during this time in life young people need to answer four crucial questions.
    i. The first is the question of identity: who am i? He said that early in life young people imitate and identify themselves with their parents and family members. Later they model their behaviour after admired adults, develop relationships with peers, and then struggle, at least in our society, to develop their own self-concept, uniqueness values and identities. Therefore, for many these can be a time of self-searching, anxiety, confusion, experimentation with lifestyles, and drifting goalless behaviour.
    ii. Second, is the question of relationships: ``How do I get along with others?`` Young people must also learn how to fit into society. Teenage often crushes conflicts with authority, gang behaviour, sexual involvements, hero worship, ``best friend`` relationship, petty squabbles, resistance to adult suggestions and yielding to peer pressure can all reflect adolescent attempts to learn social skills and build meaningful bonds with others.
    iii. Third is the question related to concern about the future: ``where do I fit in?`` young people may sometime move in unrealistic career directions with ``false start``. This can lead to frustration, pessimism, and the need to constantly re-evaluate vocational choices.
    iv. Fourth is the question of ideology: ``what do I believe?`` This goes beyond religion. In the process of finding the answers, adolescents develop their own values, religious beliefs and life philosophies.

    Dr. Henry Rozorio handled on the topic ``Moral Choices of Youth, In Today`s World: A Social Outlook.`` In the talk, he laid emphasis on youth and moral values in a changing society. He also said that societies go through continuous change and evolution and along with this change the values, norms and moral life of people change. He stressed on the role of socio-cultural, family and education in the formation of values and the consequence of moral choices.

    Rev. Dr. J. Samuel Savio dealt on the topic ``Youth: Moral Person in the Making, the Role of Religion and Theology.`` In the speech, he highlighted on Christian understanding of human person from the very beginning of creation up to our contemporary world. He also quoted church document `Popularium Progressio` saying that `morality is intrinsic and not extrinsic.`

    The one-day symposium ended with the vote of thanks proposed by John Jetheireng of third year. Snacks and lunch provided for all the participants. Participants were happy and contented. The symposium was a revelation for all of us to deepen our knowledge and search for intellectual insights.
    Posted by MATTHEWS Dominic