All those essays we wrote in our High School days on the virtues of Discipline with a capital D, and all those essays we corrected as teachers when it was another generation’s turn to write essays on Discipline – at one point we used to joke that English Paper II would compulsorily carry a question to write an essay on this revered subject. After all those years, I can still say this: discipline never goes out of style. It is always a positive thing and although adjectives like calling someone a disciplinarian gives the concept a negative slur, anyone with good sense has to agree that the people who have practiseddiscipline in their life go far ahead.
These days we see the results around us in our humble hometown. The best example is the traffic in Kohima. Yes, long lines of traffic in jams are still to be seen at peak hours, but a definite improvement is the streamlining of parking by the roadside by the whistle-blowing traffic police. Well done. We don’t at all mind cooperating and not double parking or parking in areas where it could cause a quick jam. At the crossroads, the dividers work very well to make sure cars are not snarled together with each trying to head for the direction of its choice. And Kohima’s drivers are to be lauded for submitting to the new strictness in the traffic arrangements. Many drivers show consideration for pedestrians trying to cross the street by pausing so they can safely cross. A good number stop to let another car cross over to get into the next lane. Such consideration is the fruit of applied discipline.
It won’t happen overnight, but it’s already happening.
On Saturday I visited Stella Higher Secondary School. I cite this as an encouraging example of discipline at work. Class Vi had a total of 50 students in the age-group of 11 and 12. A challenging age that may not be particularly enthused about a talk on reading and books. To my amazement, the students sat quietly through the session and at the end of it, many asked intelligent questions in a very confident manner. With that happy first impression, I went on to the other session which was with Class Viii. Most were new teenagers, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were to get restless halfway through. After all, if you can’t be restless at thirteen, when are you going to expend all that energy? Lo and behold, Class Viii was even more responsive than the previous class. I was suitably impressed. It set me thinking that the right dose of discipline can still work wonders.
It was evident in the quiet success of the school itself. Stella Higher Secondary School completed 32 years in 2019. The school is the manifestation of a family’s desire to serve their community. There is no school bus because the school was designed to serve the children of the neighbourhood as a source of quality education. As part of their community service, the school looks after the welfare of families affected by tragedies. One such case is that of a family who migrated from a rural area with the express intention of giving good education to the children. But in a short period of time, they were dealt a brutal blow in the death of the earning parent. The school has been offering free education to the bereaved family all these years. In another instance, a young Khiamniungan girl who has been topping her class consistently for three years, is receiving the award of free education till date.
The school policy of rewarding hard work and disciplined behaviour is already bearing fruit. It is easy to see character being shaped in the school children. The school had its humble beginnings in an area which was then remote from town. As the new school patiently put down its roots, the neighbourhood children discovered that they now no longer had to travel far distances to get to school since they had one in close proximity. What a beautiful way to bless your community!
Each year the school has seen progress and along with its upgradation to a Higher Secondary school, it has been producing very good results at the NBSE examinations. All this is largely a result of discipline and patience since the two go together so harmoniously. The reward for years of disciplined living and devotion to the community is in this concrete and successful example.