“There is not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die”
These famous lines by Lord Alfred Tennyson, emphasizes the place of discipline in the army and during times of war. It is obvious that no army can function and no battle can be fought successfully if every soldier wants to know the reasons behind his superior’s orders or if he argues with him about the necessity of his order.
Discipline is necessary not only in the army but also in every organization, in every walk of life, in every activity. In order to understand what discipline is. For any walk that is to be done, an individual must have before him a goal, and a purpose. The goal can best be achieved if the work is done in the most efficient way with complete concentration. One has to devote his time, energy, resources to the activity. Strict obedience to the required rules for any work or activity is called discipline.
Since adults are supposed to have some self-control, they can on their own, obey the necessary rules of work or activity. Hence discipline comes to them automatically. It is internal. But children are not in a position to understand the necessity of obeying certain rules, or even if they do understand, they may be swayed by immediate or unimportant interests or diversions. So discipline has to be included in them. It is external. Children must accept the authority of their parents and teachers and obey their orders or instructions seriously.
Discipline, whether it is internal or external, requires a great deal of self-control. But it never restricts or reduces one’s freedom. On the contrary, it makes freedom all the more meaningful and creates the necessary conditions in which freedom can be exercised or enjoyed. Discipline is like the banks of the river which do not obstruct the flow of its water but make it possible for the river to flow smoothly with proper force in the desired direction. Similarly, discipline makes it possible for the individual to utilize his time, energy and resources in a better way to achieve the desired results.
Discipline makes all the difference between success and failure, progress and stagnation. Discipline is the very foundation on which success in any activity or work is based. The great writer Edmund Spencer has said, ” A stern discipline pervades all nature, which is a little cruel that it may be very kind.”