Discipline is the training of the mind in order to make it accept the rules and orders of a higher authority. It is a lesson that we can learn from the way the universe runs. Nature herself presents before us this valuable lesson.
All the heavenly bodies follow definite rules in moving around. The seasons come and go in definite patterns. A slight shift or indiscipline will cause confusions in this well- planned natural system. Similarly, discipline in our individual lives is the top most requirement of our society.
The word discipline is derived from the Latin word’ ‘discipulus’ which means to learn. Discipline is the trait by which one learns to control one’s feelings, emotions and behaviour. It is the ability for self-control and self-direction.
Discipline enables us to think maturely, act maturely and to take decisions responsibly. It makes us self-propelled, self- controlled and self-guiding persons. It makes us responsible persons and principled individuals.
Discipline is one of the essential qualities required for social living. Without it, life in society becomes chaotic and miserable. Without discipline there can be no law and order. Without discipline society becomes a devil’s paradise, where, ‘might determines what is right’ and power and riches determine who is right and who is not.
Today, a quick look around us will show how our society has come into the grips of chaos and confusions everywhere. Lack of discipline in our lives is a primary cause of all these.
Discipline is the pre-requisite for growth and development. The astounding Japanese growth and progress, after the second World war, when their nation was reduced to ashes, has been attributed to the strict discipline which the Japanese people possessed and utilised. Every profession, every service: politics, industry, economy, government, etc., need discipline. Discipline is often associated with ‘men in uniform. It is the hallmark of soldiers. Discipline in the army calls for strict obedience and humble submission. It calls for duty in the face of adversity and courage in the face of odds. Without discipline no army can conquer, no army can win a war.
“Theirs not to make reply
Theirs not to reason why
Theirs but to do and die.”
[Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”]
That is why; acts of indiscipline are most severely punished in the army.
This is one lesson which has to be in imbibed at a very young age. The home is the first institution where the value of discipline can be learnt and the parents are their first guides.
And then it is the responsibility of the teachers to inculcate in them the value of discipline. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Discipline will teach them the virtues of self-control, obedience, the capacity for self-sacrifice and single minded devotion to duty.
It is clear therefore, that discipline is not merely a good virtue which adds colour and charm to the personality. It is an essential quality of life required by every one of us. Discipline alone can lead our society forward and make our social, professional and family life, a successful one.