Filipino brand of discipline
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - July 2, 2020 - 12:00am

It continues to wonder why we have difficulty or fail in the area of following certain rules and regulations. This inability to comply impacts some, and the society at large. Especially in the case of those who are unable to obey basic regulations expected of them, because it has a detrimental effect on other people’s health and safety. One may not think about personal repercussions, but it affects others--our immediate family members, friends and neighbors.

It’s no longer a matter of vague or unclear guidelines, but others would just test the full extent of the law, and thus whether law enforcers would really pursue it. And recently, holding outdoor cockfighting, celebrating barrio fiesta, street dancing, and motocross racing are obvious violations to health and safety protocols. The basic questions after these are: Are the local authorities aware of these? If not, what happened to their intelligence capacity?  Why are those things far off their radar? And for the violators, if they know from the very start that such is a clear violation, why they still pursued?

Discipline or self-mastery encourages people to obey a law and stick to ideals that eventually promote the public good. Those who self-control would help keep the community safe. Citizens living out of sheer discipline at home will help slow COVID-19 spread.

But one general observation is why Filipinos behave so differently when they are in other countries. Send a Pinoy to the outside world and you will see a polished and disciplined person. It is very sad that we in our own turf can’t be the same. Does this prove that Filipinos are disciplined only when they are in another country because there they are enforcing their rules.

Otherwise, most Pinoys are undisciplined because our rules may be violated here, as they are just as dishonest as those who enforce them. Some other examples are: beating the red light; littering; not understanding the term “queue”; and driving through oncoming traffic, only because they have a police escort. Or does this just demonstrate that in many nations, even for comparatively minute crimes, laws and punishments even for relatively minute offences are clear-cut and strictly imposed.

Filipino workers realize the smallest crimes can have major repercussions abroad. That is something that we need to emulate in our country. The individual duty to mend our ill-disciplined ways must go hand in hand with the tireless compliance of the law and prompt apprehension by our authorities. And then we can say we really are on the road to change.

 The double standard kind of discipline does not contribute to the creation of a great identity. We dream for the good of our country. And our forefathers started it and we need discipline to follow it. That points out the difference between good and great. Yet each of us needs to start from that. For others, but constant discipline as a human, it may be laborious, may increase the greatness of character.

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