What is Discipline?

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What is Discipline?
Human beings are scientifically categorized as animals. There is no dispute in respect to being on the same level as far as biological functions are concerned. We reproduce, digest food, breath air and grow old just as most other animal species. However there is a reason we are considered to be superior to all other animals. This is as a result of our higher intellect. Being intelligent means we are able to make decisions that are based on more than just instinct or urges. Our actions are driven by logical thought through which we weigh the merits and demerits that will result and then decide if we should or should not go ahead with a particular course of action.

The ability to control our urges and instincts is defined as discipline. There are many things that we feel like doing because they would give us some form of gratification. Different people have different levels of discipline which are attributable to both the individual’s conscious decisions as well as unconscious influences such as those that we are exposed to as we grow up. Discipline involves knowing that the consequences of our actions are going to cause greater harm than good to others, ourselves or even both and thus controlling our urges and instincts. Discipline applies in every aspect of life and having or not having it will translate to benefits or consequences.

Discipline orders our conduct to ourselves and others. From an early age children learn that some things are not acceptable and the consequences of going on to do such things. Respect for others and their property, self respect, responsibility, patience and focus are some of the attributes that exhibit discipline. All of these require that you over come certain natural urges that may come to drive you into behavior that is undesirable. Discipline is why we do not eat every delicious meal or snack that we come across. It is also the reason for waking up early to do some studying while every sense in our being would rather spend another thirty minutes in bed. This is also the reason we put some money aside as savings despite the urge to buy everything we can afford. Though it may feel like we are denying ourselves something that is naturally our right, the benefits of exercising control are greater than the instant gratification of doing it at the moment.

Discipline does however not come naturally to most people. It requires training from an early age where parents and society instruct us on what is right and wrong. Through consequences such as punishment for wrong behavior and continuous practice of what is proper we acquire discipline as a part of our character. Those that lack discipline are described as being undisciplined and frequently suffer harsh consequences for their unacceptable behavior. Discipline is not only required of us by society but it is also rewarded by nature. An example is with those who are able to exercise and eat right because they live healthier lives as compared to those who have no discipline in this area.

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