Discipline is vital for any individual or society to flourish. Without discipline, the world as we know it would cease to exist.
Discipline can be defined as “training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement” (Discipline).
Discipline is a law of nature. Every day it is certain that the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. Even a small deviation in these rules would have huge implications for planet Earth.
Discipline is fundamental to the running of any nation. Only nations where the public have a strict sense of discipline tend to thrive. Discipline is vital in all levels of society. For example, a family that is lacking in a sense of discipline can be dysfunctional. Often such a family will argue and separate.
An educational setting is another interesting example of where discipline is important. Basic values such as punctuality, conscientiousness and honesty are all rooted in a sense of discipline. Without discipline a student would not achieve good academic results and may not progress well in society. Furthermore, discipline is crucial in teachers as well as in students. A teacher has a responsibility to act as a role model and to lead by example. If a teacher lacks discipline, his students are unlikely respect and learn from him.
The army is organised around discipline; it is one of the American Army’s core values. It is vital in order to keep the forces organised and at their most efficient. The army is well-known for its strict routines, for example conducting early morning training for the soldiers. Soldiers at all levels are evaluated on their mental, physical and social discipline. Any soldier who lacks or resists the necessary discipline will not have a successful career with the Army.
Sports is a further example. In a team sport, it is vital that all the members follow a set of rules, both within the team and within the game. If these rules were not adhered to the team would be unable to function and the whole game would descend into chaos.
Human society could not exist without discipline. It is vital that people are willing to follow laws and social rules. This even applies to relatively minor actions such as buying food in a supermarket. People know that they have to pay for their food before they leave the shop. Generally they know to take their place in the queue for the till, rather than pushing to the front.
Discipline, whether internal (e.g. self-discipline) or external (e.g. national laws) requires individuals to exercise self-control. Arguably it could be viewed as obstruction of freewill and personal freedom. However, when discipline breaks down, undesirable behaviours arise. Examples of these are shop-lifting, fraud and violence. If there were no discipline, society would be disorderly and miserable. Therefore it could also be argued that discipline in fact enables people to be free and to move forwards in society. After all, as writer Edmund Spenser said, “a stern discipline pervades all nature” (Spenser).
In conclusion, the values of discipline are immense. From families to nations, a sense of order and willingness to adhere to the given rules are crucial to any kind of survival and progression.
“Discipline”. The Free Dictionary. 27 Feb. 2011. http://thefreedictionary.com/discipline
Spenser, Edmund. “The Complete Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser”. Internet Archive. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 27 Feb. 2011. http://archive.org/details/completepoetical00spen2