Discipline: A double edged weapon
Mohammad Hussain Khan
Literally speaking, discipline is a mode of life in accordance with rules and regulations. The term also refers to a state of orderly conduct of an individual which is gained through training in self control and in the habits of obedience to socially approved standards of thoughts and actions.
Discipline indeed is the “Lakshman Rakha” within which man is always having smooth sailing in life. But the moment he crosses that “Lakshman Rakha” not only he is in trouble but he exposes his nears and dears to tremendous difficulties and problems. Discipline, indeed is the very first condition of good life.
It is the foundation on which the structure of a happy, harmonious and well integrated life of an individual is built. In every society there is a need for regulating the relations, actions and conduct of the members of the organized group. Each member possesses and enjoys certain rights and freedom. But those are restricted by equal rights and freedom of other people among whom he lives. The exercising of his rights by an individual implies an obligation on others to respect it. These rights and obligations are regulated by law and order in a society.
Truly speaking from heaven above to the earth below, everywhere discipline reigns supreme. The planets, the satellites and the stars do not move by fits and starts. They move according to certain set rules. The plants, the trees, the fruits, the crops all grow in a set form under set conditions. The various organs of the body co-operate with one another to keep balance between head and heart. Even the life of birds and insects is a symbol of disciplined living. The ants move in straight lines with a single minded attention. Birds fly in an orderly manner. Honey bees move in a swarm and follow the queen bee.
History is a living proof to the fact that only the discipline nations have survived the shattering shocks to their integrity and independence. Discipline is needed in all walks of life. Islam encourages us to display responsible behaviour in life. It disallows drinking alcohol, gambling and other vices which take people towards indiscipline and laxity. Unfortunately we have ignored the message of discipline.
We often read reports pointing out indiscipline in Political Institutions, Trade Unions, Financial matters of public funds and discharging of assigned duties. Major cities present the worse scenario of indiscipline. Markets are plagued by rampant encroachments, traffic on roads is hugger-mugger, Huge heaps of garbages are lying on main roads, in open drains and on empty plots.
Lack of discipline makes our main roads Jam packed causing irritation and friction on thoroughfares. Illegal parking and crumbling roads make life a nightmare. It is in place to mention here that a society without strong sense of discipline in all areas of life has time and again in human history, proved to be well on the way to decay.
Dear readers, discipline costs nothing but pays rich dividends. It controls our movements, guides our actions and sweetens out temperament. It gives all powers to individual, group and nations. It adds beauty to life and grandeur to living. Above all discipline is a double edged weapon. It is expected to strike a balance between enforcing the discipline on one hand and motivating the people on the other.
Personnel entrusted with enforcing it are expected to be competent and capable of achieving this balance. People must honour the law and fulfill social responsibilities. We should therefore cultivate habit of disciplined life. It needs proper planning with clear indications about where society needs to be headed. The earlier we do it, the better it is because only a nation of disciplined people can produce great men.
(The author can be reached at Khanhussain.firstname.lastname@example.org)