Archive for March 22, 2021

Discipline and more

Success, we often are told, is the product of a disciplined life. When the instinct to bypass the exacting routine is subdued and the impulse to defy the regimented schedule sublimated, success in any discipline is but guaranteed. Success is, thus, a structured outcome of a disciplined behaviour that can be practiced and perfected over a period of time. A student would be successful by following the rigours of her academic pursuit, a doctor by honing the skills on patient care and a body builder, through religious adherence to the workout regimen and the dietary supplements; a prerequisite to craft a chiselled frame. For success, as commonly understood, is a function of efficiency and that it is gained by repetitive performance of the same task over extended period, guaranteeing a mastery over it. And to achieve this degree of proficiency and thus success, discipline is absolutely vital.

And discipline would also mean compliance to the rules and a confirmation of the status quo for no success is possible without subscribing to the established norms. It entails a sacrosanct reverence to the current and the accepted and brooks no divergence towards an untested process or a bolder idea. It appreciates neither the questioning of the known nor the challenging of the entrenched and thus offers no space to an alternate viewpoint. True discipline, with its emphasis on effectiveness, is anathema to any suggestion for “out of the box” solutions and views dissent with suspicion. Thus discipline and dissent are inimical to each other and one cannot be disciplined and also dissenting, all at the same time.

But through out the annals of history it is only through dissent that major discoveries were made. And great thinkers were at first dissenters against the established ideas and practices before they became renowned scientists and philosophers. Galileo dissented against the biblical idea that the sun revolved around the earth and was imprisoned for blasphemy while Buddha dissented against the social practices of his times. And when Einstein propounded this Theory of Relativity, he was essentially dissenting against the known principle that matter and energy are two separate entities and Drawin’s explosive “Theory of Evolution” was in direct conflict with the hitherto confirmed idea that humans are the decedents of Adam and Eve!  Also, the thought of injecting the live germ into a healthy human for the purpose of fighting the very disease that the germ would cause, sounded ridiculous and dissenting before vaccination became a standard practice to protect humanity against many major infections. And non-violence was a dissenting ideology against the mighty British empire and a totally disarming one that Gandhi used to gain Indian independence. If not the dissenting traits of all these and such other personalities, many vistas of knowledge that are so easily taken as given today would not have been possible. 

Though dissent seems to be out of the ordinary, it comes naturally to an inquisitive person and the story of human evolution is essentially the story of dissenting minds. When the existing set of knowledge is found inadequate in the light of new evidence, when the current scheme of things seeks to stifle the progress of the human race and when the straitjacket thinking pattern is strangulating the creative intelligence, dissent takes over and opens up a plethora of thoughts and ideas that redefine human progress.  And the world is often enriched by such dissenting voices,

But there seems to be an attempt to overrate the virtue of discipline and promote it as an absolute necessity to maintain order and stability in all human endeavours and transactions. And in that very process, any dissent to the established norms, ideas or patterns are viewed with increasing scepticism. But it would only augur well to remember that if not for the dissent, human evolution could well have been stunted.

Yours

Narayanan

March 22, 2021 at 1:59 am 19 comments


Recent Posts

Categories

Most popular

Chronology

March 2021
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Blog Stats

  • 23,907 hits

previous posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 391 other followers