Discipline is implicit obedience to the commands of a superior authority, and acceptance with smile of punishment awarded for breach thereof. If there is no discipline in life, there is anarchy. Life becomes disorderly. A little observation will show that from heaven above to earth below everywhere discipline reigns supreme. For instance, the earth, the moon and the stars move round the sun according to certain specific rules. Even animals are disciplined under their leader. The life in a hive is a model off disciplined life
In a human body the various organs co-operate with one another and are disciplined for the maintenance, growth and development of the whole body. A savage in the primitive society obeyed the laws of his clan. Even the civilized man obeys the head of his family.
The home is the nursery where we receive our First lesson of discipline through obedience to our parents and elders. As we pass out of this nursery and enter the portals of an educational institution, discipline becomes a matter of vital importance. That is because student-life is a period of preparation for the battle of life. Not less is the need for discipline in the playground. A disciplined team, though weak, has a greater advantage over its strong but ill-organized rival.
In society too, there is a greater need for discipline. If its individual members are permitted to do whatever they like, society will break up and the onward march of civilization and progress will be arrested. Lack of discipline among the youth may endanger even the national security.
Nowhere, perhaps, is discipline more necessary than in the armed forces. Here a moment’s hesitation may mean defeat and death. Difficulty, danger, nay death itself should not prevent a soldier from carrying out the orders of his commander, even if they are unjust or wrong.
There are, however, men who are opposed to discipline. They think that discipline kills originality. Disciplined people, they say, are just like parts of machinery. A man is not a machine. He, therefore, should not be expected to be obedient and orderly.
This is a very wrong view of discipline. It is the extreme of authoritarianism. Discipline does not mean it. It allows originality. There is no objection to people taking to any work and adopting any thought. The only demand that discipline makes is that you should have a plan and an order.
Discipline is a precious asset. Life without discipline is like a ship without a rudder. It is a rod to check the erring, a brake to control the thoughtless action of man. Its purpose is to see that liberty does not degenerate into a license for doing anything.