runner in neon running clothes

Discipline can get a bad rap. Memories of growing up and having discipline “administered” at home and at school. Depending on how far you stretched yourself in yearning for independence and how strict your parents and teachers were you might have had more or less desire to remember those memories. Those who have gone through military training probably also have less than fond memories associated with discipline. 

But at the core discipline is learning to navigate life successfully in order to avoid unnecessary negative consequences and to gain positive results. Like in a game where rules are intended to keep the action running smoothly and to avoid harm to all players. 

And those who are wise will engage in self-discipline, being self aware and choosing to follow sane rules. Like looking both ways before crossing a busy street, thinking before you speak, or just saying please and thank you. It doesn’t mean that we are driven by do’s and don’ts, slavishly adhering to somebody else’s guidelines. It means that we learn the wisdom of following accepted rules of conduct and procedure, knowing when and where to diverge from well worn paths.

A good example in my daily life is my involvement in Toastmasters, including meetings. There are certain expectations, like being polite, not interrupting, being prepared to share, and most of all beginning and ending on time. Toastmasters are very flexible, but time management is one of the key disciplines of every meeting. It is for the benefit of all, so it is agreed upon by all. 

I am sure that during the campaign Pete Buttigieg and his staff were very cognizant of the need for discipline, with all the meetings and travel, speeches and needed R&R. That is why discipline is included in his Rules of the Road. And I think that even though we aren’t involved in such a large endeavor, it would do us well to exercise that self-discipline as well.

Photo by lzf