Broadly speaking, discipline means to obey the laid down rules in all your activities, functions and pursuits. It is a wide concept and encompasses orderly behaviour, cultivation of good and healthy habits, working hard, having a civic sense, having a high moral character and performing the duties of a good citizen.
Discipline means different things to different classes of people.
A child needs to obey his parents and elders; a student needs to obey his teachers, follow the school rules and pursue his education wholeheartedly; an employee needs to be punctual in reaching his/her workplace and observe the full duration of working hours performing the tasks assigned, to the best of his/ her ability. For a father, discipline connotes a great number of things-from earning a living to support the family to inculcating moral values on the children. He must exemplify by following the duties of a citizen-paying his taxes in time, casting his vote in the elections, remaining honest in his dealings, respecting the law-so that his children grow in an atmosphere of discipline to become responsible citizens.
If the father values time and follows a strict schedule-getting up early in the morning, goes to work in time and comes back to assume his responsibilities at home- the children will learn to value time and make a schedule of their work. They will follow a disciplined life- studying regularly for fixed hours and doing their other work in time. For a mother discipline includes a host of activities that may well be called her duties. If she is a working lady, she has to perform the dual function of attending her office regularly at fixed hours and take care of her home.
She has to cook food for the family if she has not employed a maid for that purpose and there is no one else to do the job. She may also have to do other chores including washing, cleaning, etc. That is why it is said that the life of Indian women is tough. Her duties also include taking care of the children as well as elders in the family. In case the lady is a home-maker, she does not have to go to a workplace, but the other chores of the house are her sole responsibility. Discipline for her means getting up early in the morning, preparing breakfast for the members of the family, getting the children ready for school, packing their tiffin, bags, etc. and taking them to bus stop to see them off in the school bus.
When the children are gone, her focus is to send her husband to duty along with his lunch. In the evening she has to attend the children’s home-work and look after the needs of the husband when he comes back from office. This is the disciplined life for the lady of the house. The children take a cue from her and emulate her sense of duty.
Discipline is a broader term and includes several things which change from time to time and place to place. When we travel in train or metro, we must follow the rules of the railways-buying the ticket, occupying our seat, not to disturb others or defile the compartment, not to carry any inflammable article, and protect the railways property, etc. While going to some office to get some job done such as depositing money in the bank, paying electricity bill, etc. we must stand in the queue and wait for our mm.
While travelling in a bus, the discipline demands taking the proper ticket, offering seat to ladies and old persons, not to smoke or chew paan, and cooperate with the transport services, people, etc. While crossing the road, we must take the zebra crossing. While driving, discipline is extremely necessary. We must avoid drunken driving and follow the rules of traffic strictly.
If we follow these rules and remain disciplined, not only we ourselves, but the society at large will also benefit. Following the rules of the road saves us from getting injured or even killed. Being a disciplined traveller not only makes our journey as well as that of others convenient but also helps the transport authorities to serve us better, leading to an improved service.
Standing in a queue and waiting for our turn at a public counter, avoids chaos, brings order and saves time. Paying our taxes in time saves us from penalties and punishments; paying our telephone, electricity, and water bills also saves us from extra charges and disconnections. The revenue collected by the companies is used to improve the services which benefit all of us. The amount of taxes paid by us form the capital with which the government undertakes new projects of development in the form of industries, servicing institutions like banks, insurance companies, etc. and schools, colleges, hospitals, roads, etc.
The most disciplined life is that of military and paramilitary personnel. All the four wings of the military, viz. Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard have strict codes of conduct under which each employee-whether of commissioned rank or non¬commissioned category has to perform their duties. They have a fixed time to get up in the morning-which is quite early, get ready to have breakfast within specific hours in the Mess and report for duty. They have a regular session of exercise or drills everyday, training sessions for various types of skills required during the course of their service. Under normal circumstances, i.e. even when there is no war, the military personnel have to remain fit, quick, vigilant and ready for any eventuality.
In case of war, they have to be prepared to go to the front and fight for their country under most difficult terrains-on high attitude in extreme cold conditions, in deserts un^er the scorching sun, in dangerous forests and plateaux. All their leaves are cancelled and excursions curtailed. Defending their motherland is foremost in their minds. It is because of their great sense of discipline and sacrifice that India is an independent country and all of us are secure in our homes. The value of the discipline in which they live cannot be expressed in words. In fact military is synonymous with discipline.
The military men in their uniform give a message of patriotism, sacrifice and discipline. Similarly, the paramilitary forces such as Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the State Police Force conduct all their activities in strict discipline. These personnel wear proper uniform during duty hours. When we see the men in their respective uniforms, it instills in us a feeling of respect for them.
Discipline has special importance in sports. In every game- hockey, football cricket, tennis, billiards, chess, etc. there are certain rules which each player has to follow. Similarly in all the disciplines of athletics, the participants have to obey certain rules. There are penalties or negative points for violating the rules in each game. If these rules are not followed, there will be complete chaos in the field.
The games which are played for fun, enjoyment and to inculcate sportsmanship shall lose these objectives in the absence of discipline. In fact, we can learn teammanship and discipline through sports. The Olympic Games are played with the motto of achieving new heights in human endurance. They also join the people of different continents and thus, citizens of different races and religions. Thus, the discipline in sports acquires higher meanings of universal brotherhood.
Discipline is of great value for all of us. It brings order in our lives and makes the systems of society work to attain certain objectives. History tells us that only those civilizations prospered and lasted longer which followed discipline in their activities. Those generations which failed to follow discipline and lived a life of extravagance and wantonness were unable to make any impact on others. Discipline brings in us many other qualities like punctuality, perseverance, tolerance, hard work and time management. It has, therefore, great value for us as citizens of a civilized society.