Discipline and the mastery of oneself
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2019 - 12:00am

Lou Holtz once said, “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”

In life, we are drawn by stories of triumph and success and although such stories are certainly worthy of praise, it is also just as important to pay attention to the trials that form an integral part of every success story. Our culture loves to root for the underdog – the guy that everyone thought was so far behind until suddenly he makes it to the top. We cheer, raise our flag and practically party in every household, restaurant or even barbershop (or salon), to celebrate a victory. Indeed I feel a deep sense of pride each and every time our beloved Philippines represents us to the rest of the world and wins. It goes without saying that I feel this way together with millions of other Filipinos.

But when the “party is over” and we are back to reality where we get up the next day to make breakfast, feed our children, prepare for work or busy ourselves with household chores, the question we should be asking ourselves is IF we feel the same sense of pride in simply doing the daily tasks that are required of us as members of a family, community and more so, as members of society.

I say this because real discipline is about a few simple practices we commit to doing everyday. It is something that should be a part of us – constant and with the goal of building our character. It is also something that we must apply whether we are in our own homes or outside of it. Whether we are in our own country or elsewhere, discipline is a way of life.

I always like to make a reflection of ourselves in contrast to government especially nowadays where we are experiencing so many strides and I like to do this particularly because who we are and our response to government achievements is a necessary observation that needs to be constantly addressed.

While we all want good governance, honest and knowledgeable public servants, better infrastructure and first class public facilities , are we, as a people, willing to do our parts to maintain order for progress? Progress begins with us. While we have suffered with bad roads, insanely dirty and nonfunctional public toilets or other services too many to mention, are we as a people willing to contribute to the order that has begun?

We often find ourselves comparing the discipline of other people in other countries with that of our own because the truth is, many, and if not most of us, wish we had the same “heart” as they do. Love for country includes sacrifice and hard work.

In as much as this may hurt us to hear (or read for that matter),  the fact is, we have a problem with unity and this is what is keeping us from progress. We must therefore decide to unify ourselves and commit to the discipline that is necessary – most especially self-discipline (because it has to start with every individual), in order for us to have mastery of ourselves.

Conquering ourselves through self-discipline is for the common good and as a people, we simply must want it and more importantly understand it.

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