If you want to be anything in life, you have to be disciplined they said. And if I or any of my classmates disobeyed, they would drill us like sergeants during hell week in Seal training. Clean uniform, shirt tucked in perfectly showing the belt buckle with the ugly school emblem. Random checks where we would have to stand in line and hold our hands out so the teacher could check if our nails were trimmed and if not we would get beat with a wooden scale right on our knuckles. For some weird reason this what the teachers the word “ Discipline” meant. I don’t know how but the parents were even more idiotic. They added waking up early, keeping the room clean, doing chores and being completely and unequivocally obedient to their every command as a sign if their child was disciplined or not.
At this point I would love to tell you that I was an exception, a rebel and I revolted against the system, grew my hair long, got high in high school and said “fuck off dad clean your own goddamn car!” but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I did everything I was asked to. Hoping it would make them happy. I was always considered as the disciplined high achiever when my brother was the exact opposite. He was considered lazy and a slob. He did things only if he wanted and never because someone wanted him to.My best friend/roommate was exactly the same. He was a slob and would never clean the room, had never heard of the concept of a bedtime. All my life I looked down on them thinking I was morally superior cos I had the will and the power to switch off my computer (yes even in the middle of an episode #OCD) cos it was time to sleep. In all honesty, i was secretly jealous of them. Cos they just did what they wanted. No code. No rules. No concern if they hurt someone else’s feelings. And then I got a job and started working and my whole world fell apart.Cos it only then did I finally realize what was the effect of the military-style discipline that our teachers and parents drilled into us. And it was this:
- Don’t ask questions.
- Follow the leader.
- Obey every command.
- You are not smarter or better than your superiors. You’re not smarter or better than parents at home, your teachers at school and your managers and boss at work.
- The only way to succeed is to put your head down and keep doing the work assigned to you without question.
And this is the kind of success that people grow to loathe. Your whole life you’re so restricted that in your adult life this “discipline” as they called it did more harm than good. I felt so restricted that when I sat down to get some actual work done, I would have other constraints like, ok now it’s time to eat, time to go for a workout, time to clean up, time to go to sleep. I kept myself so busy with these useless actions which at one point in my life felt like the most important things to follow but in reality, had no significance at all! Nobody gives a shit how long your nails are MOM! And I found my brother and my roommate who always seem to be in a free state have plenty of time to work on projects that actually mattered to them. They didn’t care that their rooms being dirty or that they hadn’t cleaned the dishes or a million other trivial things, but instead, they wanted to finish the story they were writing before sleeping regardless of the time or the painting they were drawing. So after thinking long and hard about this, I realized the whole concept of discipline that the Indian schools and teachers have, is absolutely BULLSHIT!
So to all my teachers and the parents out there who mindlessly nag their children about being disciplined, I would like to say this:
Nobody has “ Was a disciplined child with the right length hair and trimmed nails and always kept the room clean” on their fucking tombstone.
All that matters is what you consider important work, your passion, your projects, your ambitions and your dreams. Everything else is just noise! So please just:
- Stop trying to produce identical soldiers who can ejaculate your curriculum. Human beings are not supposed to be that way.
- Focus on teaching kids how to solve problems, face adversities & challenges.
- Encourage them to be more independent and think for themselves.
- Stop treating them like cars produced on an assembly line. We are not meant to be the same!
Real discipline is something most of your parents or teachers lack. It’s that never give up attitude. It’s putting your head down and working your ass off to a cause you believe in. And not be obsessed with seeking approval from idiots who never achieved anything significant with their lives.