THE latest news about that jeepney driver overtaking three other vehicles to beat the train smacks of lack of discipline and resulted in the death of a young innocent mother. So are the cases of firecracker injuries, death from stray bullets, most fires and accidents—they were caused by a lack of discipline.
Discipline is NOT mere conformance. It is NOT simply obeying laws and regulations, adhering to standards, going by the code of discipline.
Discipline is acting according to your personal needs and those of others affected by your behavior (that means the whole world) and not according to how you feel at the moment and solely for personal needs. Discipline is freedom to do what is right by you and others. According to a TV news reporter, “Nagmamadali at siguro gustong mauna lang” (He was in a hurry and maybe just wanted to be ahead). That driver was just thinking of himself. He didn’t take into consideration the effect of his actions on his passengers, the other people in the vicinity, the passengers and driver of the train, his family, and many others. He was most probably annoyed by the unexpected pause, which he took as an interruption of his work and ability to earn more. He definitely lacked self-discipline.
Stephen Covey wrote, “The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions.” They crave for freedom to do as they wish regardless of the impact of their actions or words.
Lack of discipline is lack of purpose that is bigger than yourself at the moment. The intention of that driver was to get to the end of his line and make a quick turnaround so he could earn more. It is a want, not a purpose. It was an uncontrolled behavior that brought ruin to the victim’s life and family and his own family.
I pass that way sometimes and I see a lot of drivers of private cars and jeepneys make a game of beating the train. There is no lack of warning signs and signals about approaching trains, yet drivers, and sometimes pedestrians, run across the tracks to get ahead by, what, a few seconds? They are actually in a race with death. Unfortunately other lives are killed, too.
What are the common signs of lack of discipline?
Jumping the line and jostling and shoving to get ahead in queues
Watching TV while doing work at home
Eating to your heart’s content, notwithstanding health concerns
Not exercising or moving about and just lying around
Not coming to work on time
Being unable to say “no” and succumbing to temptation
Doing Facebook or personal emails while at work
Greed—unabated desire to amass profit, wealth, fame and control
Unquenchable thirst of public officials to dip into the nation’s treasure chest
Unquenchable thirst of the same politicians for power and control via political dynasties
Selling your votes for a sum of money or some promises by candidates
Campaigning on a lie and falsehood, pretending to be a good person.
Falsifying information on important documents
Inveterate lying, cursing, blaming, complaining and slandering, gossiping, rumor-mongering
Indiscriminate use and display of wealth—most expensive cars, mansions, foods, etc.
Many others. Name your own.
Lack of discipline is abandonment of responsibility, abdication of choice (giving in to negative emotions). It took root when we were still young and our parents and others in our childhood circle provided too much for us and exercised excessive control over us. They instilled a level of dependency and lack of self-discipline that can last us a lifetime.
But it is not too late. It is not our nature to lack discipline (Even if Eve bit on that apple a looooong time ago but we are now saved, aren’t we?). It is our nature to have a mission/purpose in life. It is our nature to seek and do what is good. It is our nature to nurture the best in ourselves. Therefore, living a disciplined life is not really that tough; we simply follow our nature.
We need to start living a disciplined life before we destroy ourselves, our loved ones, our country! Personally, we like to think that we are gaining by our ways, but lack of discipline is slowly but surely destroying us as a nation. Just look around you.
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