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28 May 2008 | General News

Our society and indiscipline

Helena Selby - Ghanaian Chronicle
Our society and indiscipline

Acts of indiscipline seem to have become a normal phenomenon in our everyday lives. For some people, the act of indiscipline is a sign of modernity, fashion or masculinity. Indiscipline in our world today does not reflect only in our way of dressing, but also our attitude towards life and our way of doing things. The Encarta Dictionary defines indiscipline, as the lack of practice or methods of teaching, and enforcing acceptable patterns of behaviour.

Though technology and modernity can be termed as the main determinant of development in a country, discipline also counts. It must be put into consideration that it only takes discipline to rise to the heights of civilization. Who could have thought that Egypt, in Africa, could be the first nation in the world to attain a level of civilization? Looking back at the history of Egypt, one can say emphatically that their adoption or practice or methods of teaching, and enforcing acceptable patterns of behaviour, could be attributed to their early attainment of civilization.

In Ghana, and many parts of Africa, acts of indiscipline have been the main incitements to the destabilization of the development of the continent. It is the desire of many Ghanaians, and the people of Africa, to arrive at a level of development, to ease their pain and sufferings, just like in the developed world.

However the problem is, people are not, if the truth be told, putting their shoulders to the wheel, in order to bring this dream into reality, with a part being attributed to acts of indiscipline. No wonder many Africans consider the western world a paradise, since they do not foresee their continent achieving that same level of development.

Why acts of indiscipline?

The reason for acts of indiscipline, cannot be attributed solely to the individual the act is coming from, but also to the environment/society the individual is coming from. Though from a tender stage one is influenced by society and the environment, parental responsibility is the major influence in one's life, given the fact that parents have the major responsibility of nurturing the child.

This is so because, to the child, the guardian or parents are the only people to be trusted. “Train a child in a way he should grow and when he is old, he will never depart from it,” goes a Bible verse.

Acts of discipline begin from our various habitats. If a child is not taught how to show discipline and be disciplined; the possibility of the child living out of the life of discipline, is very high. It is very easy for a child, to copy blindly, attitudes from parents or guardians, especially when those attitudes are exceptionally against the norms and values of society.

It must be noted though, that human beings behave rationally, when it comes to copying blindly, which is a bad habit and is easier than copying good habits.

When one grows without learning to behave or be disciplined, one tends to adopt any bad acts in any environment he or she finds himself or herself. For instance, learning not to adopt the act of keeping the environment clean will surely not be problem for one to litter the environment where one finds him or herself.

Peer pressure

Though charity begins at home, the reality of a child derailing from the rail of a disciplined life, is very ordinary in terms of peer pressure influence. Peer pressure so far has been a good educator of bad habits and indiscipline. A well-behaved person will love to make it a point, to adhere to all rules and regulations, pertaining to the good of the community and the people, but for peer influence he or she decides to go against them.

Apart from the peer pressure and the way a person is brought up, sometimes the environment or situations people find themselves, compel them to acquire undisciplined behaviours. Additionally, mere laziness also is another cause of indiscipline behaviour. For instance, one might know that a bridge across a street, is for crossing without facing any risks, but due to laziness one will decide to just cross the street itself.

Society and indiscipline

Society can be partially blamed for the decline in standards of discipline, and its citizens are to be blamed and have to carry the fight against it. Moral and spiritual values have being shunned by society all in the name of modernity and technology. Society seems to have lost track of the essence of a disciplined life.

Gone were the days when every elderly person could put a child or adolescent right, when he or she is going against the values of society. This has made the youth of nowadays, very undisciplined. How about this generation? Woe betides any adult who tries to put a child right.

Society can also be blamed for the removal of corporal punishment in schools. The elimination of physical punishment, has made the students more undisciplined than ever. Of late parents and guardian find it offensive when their ward/child is punished in school, especially by whipping with a cane.

In Ghana, and many parts of Africa, many well to do people take their wards to expensive private schools, where corporal punishment is not accepted, so as to prevent any sort of punishment for their wards when they go wrong. Owing to this, teachers feel more vulnerable, and are increasingly attacked by parents, and due to this the students feel that they now have the right to behave as they like, with no effective consequences for their actions.

Eradicating indiscipline

For a nation to have to a society full of disciplined and well-mannered people, it is important to start from the home. Charity they say begins at home, the responsibility of parents or guardians does not only refer to providing the material needs of the child, but also learning how to nurture the child into a well-disciplined adult, by inculcating in the child good morals. A well-disciplined adult will not have the courage to defecate along roadsides, in the gutters or throw litter around.

Schools and churches can also help in improving discipline in the society. Teachers, who most often serve as the second parents of children, can also help foster the acts of discipline in life in children. Teaching them spiritual and moral values, through their reading of textbooks on good behaviour – Courtesy for Boys and Girls - can go long way to mould and monitor their behaviours.

Religious leaders, through regular crusades on good behaviour, can help people know and appreciate the purpose and effects of a disciplined lifestyle. This could be very effective, since a great majority of the citizens of any country are deeply religious. It will come a long way to make majority of the population to be discipline and well mannered.

Thank God for the existences of the media in the various parts of the world. The spreading of the purpose of inculcating of disciplined behaviour by the media, will also help lighten load on our shoulders - indiscipline.

For a nation to develop, it depends on the attitude of the citizen towards their daily activity, the environment and their fellow man. A disciplined nation, with principled values, can assist to bring about a well-developed and civilized people. It is the duty of society, and all respectable bodies/organisation and institutions to help inculcate the attitude of discipline in its peoples.

quot-img-1Before a blind person makes up his/her mind to throw a stone he/she has already stepped on one.

By: Sir Roy Kelly, Avian quot-img-1