School Survival

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What discipline really means

You know how people keep saying "discipline" is good? Well, they should go look the word up in a dictionary first :)
by SoulRiser

The word discipline means something like this:

"practice of forcing the acceptance of absolute (no way around them) rules of behaviour on other people; ability to behave and work in a limited and restrained (being held back) manner where someone else has power over you".

Where did I get that from?

Here's what my little dictionary has to say about the word "discipline":

discipline n. practice of imposing strict rules of behaviour on other people; ability to behave and work in a controlled manner; branch of learning.

The underlined words up there make a big difference... check them out:

impose v. force the acceptance of; take unfair advantage of.

strict adj. stern or severe; adhering closely to specified rules; complete, absolute.

controlled v. have power over; limit or restrain; regulate.

Put it all together, and you get something like the meaning at the top of this page.

And you thought all that dictionary work in school was useless :)

Why did I do all this? Well, because there seems to be the assumption that there should be more discipline in schools, and that disciplined people are good people. Disciplined people may or may not be good people, but it seems more as if discipline is something we should NOT want to have too much of, or even much of at all. Sure, disciplined kids won't shoot up the school. They won't steal people's stuff. But when it gets to the point that kids are considered to be good and disciplined when they have an antenna on their heads and teachers can make them do stuff via remote control, then we know something is not right.

Forget "discipline", forget those unnecessary rules that nobody can give a reason for, and simplify everything back to plain "right" or "wrong" - "wrong" being anything that can hurt another person, take advantage of them, or infringe their rights in any way, and everything else being either "right" or just "okay".

We humans are way too imperfect and not understanding enough to be trusted with the power of "disciplining" others.

Written by: SoulRiser
06 January 2003

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