Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Over the years, I have realized what discipline is by understanding what it is not. The frenzied scrambling for vada pavs that we see near the canteen is not an illustration of discipline. Nor is the constant talking on the cell phone during a concert or any public address. The ruthless fights to get a place in the local trains definitely cannot pass off as instances of discipline.

So, you may ask, what is discipline? Well, discipline, as a concept is not difficult to understand. Discipline is all about a controlled and coordinated way of doing things.

To not talk in the class while all the other children are talking, to not jump the line at the ticket counter, even if everyone does so, to not throw garbage on the road but patiently look around for a dustbin, are some of the simplest deeds that in reality demonstrate great discipline. A disciplined man generally embodies great virtues and is considered as a reliable human being. A disciplined way of behaviour, disciplined way of working and a disciplined way of thinking, all constitute a disciplined way of living.

So, how is discipline to be brought into the life of every person? Most evidences suggest that such a quality can be acquired only through realization and by exercising control. Enforcement of discipline is not advisable. As Marie Montessori, a famous Italian lady said, “Discipline must come through liberty. We do not consider an individual disciplined when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mule and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.”

Today, we are seeing a gradual lessening of discipline in our country. In our veins flows the blood of our ancestors who practiced extraordinary control during their penances. If we acquire even a fraction of that discipline, then the course of our nation could change drastically.

According to me the reason why we see a general slackening of discipline is because it is no longer considered a worthy quality today. Qualities like enterprise, shrewdness and resourcefulness are given much more importance. Discipline comes nowhere into the picture. Now, it is time we realize that discipline is one of pillars that this world rests upon. To strengthen it or let it crumble: The choice is ours.

Sukanya Honkote Std. X

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