Temperance and Self-mastery

Those who are masters of themselves have marvelous possibilities to dedicate themselves to the service of God and neighbor, and thus attain the greatest happiness and peace possible here on earth.

The years of adolescence offer new opportunities to instill the virtue of temperance. Adolescents have greater maturity, which facilitates the acquisition of virtue. Virtues require interiorizing habits of behavior and motives, freely deciding to do something good and carrying it out. Although young children can get used to doing good things, it is only when they reach a certain intellectual and emotional maturity that they can go deeper into the meaning of their own actions and evaluate their consequences.

It is important to explain to adolescents the reason for certain ways of acting that young people perhaps perceive as only matters of form, or for certain limits to their conduct that they might see as mere prohibitions. In the final analysis, we need to give them good reasons why it is worthwhile to be temperate. For example, in most cases it would not be convincing to speak about the need to be temperate (above all in the area of entertainment that gets in the way of study) in order to ensure success in one’s future career. Although this is a legitimate reason, it focuses on a distant reality that isn’t of immediate interest for many young people.

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Leisure and Free time

In many countries today, the educational system gives young people ever greater free time. Consequently many parents are quite aware of the importance of such periods for their children’s education. Sometimes, however, their main concern is that children “are wasting their time” when not in class. Therefore families often seek extracurricular activities for their children. It is not unusual for these activities to have a certain academic bent, for example studying languages or learning to play a musical instrument, thus complementing their children’s studies.

 Value of free time

Free time possesses certain educational possibilities of its own. As St. John Paul II stressed, it is important “to develop and use to advantage the free time of the young and direct their energies.” 1 During those daily times when academic duties for all practical purposes come to an end, young people see themselves as the masters of their own destiny. Now they can do what they really want to: spend time with family or friends, pursue hobbies, rest and have fun in the way they enjoy best. The decisions they make are seen as their own, setting a hierarchy of personal interests: what I would like to do, which task I should take up now and which can be left for later.… There children learn to know themselves better, and discover new responsibilities and how to administer them.

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OUT OF THE CAVE: the influence of celebrity culture.

We are surrounded by images and messages that do not tell the truth about the good life.

This week, Forbes released its annual top celebrities list, The Celebrity 100. Quite simply, the list measures, as Forbes shamelessly puts it, "money and fame".  Calculating the in-crowd includes looking at earnings over the past year, as well as "media and social networking power".

One gets the sense that we are encouraged to idolize these people.  Wealth and fame are incredibly seductive, and have become the holy grail in our modern religion of self-worship. Beyonce, JayZ, Dr. Dre, Ellen DeGeneres, Rhianna, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, etc. are among our new saints – even though many of them are anything but.

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Cultural Forum in Isiuwa Study Centre

It was a bright and sunny afternoon in Benin City when the guest lecturer arrived at Isiuwa Study Centre. The guest, Engr. F.A. U. Imouokhome, a senior lecturer of the Department of Computer Science was invited to give a get-together on: Knowledge, news and distraction: permanent connection as a threat to productivity and efficiency. This is in preparation for the Pre-Univ conference an inter-university encounter among undergraduates from various Nigeria universities. The venue of the definitive conference is usually the Iroto Conference Centre of ECS.

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