Discipline: The role of omission and meaning of life

Discipline omission

All children are born geniuses; 9,999 out of every 10,000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniusized by grownups.

– Buckminster Fuller

How to discipline? The foundation of a good value system is essential. Building from a poor, weak, or wrong value system will contribute to bad habits, lifestyle, and destiny. Parents and teachers need to understand how to manage daily events appropriately. If handled not wisely, children will incorrectly interpret the ethics of their behavior. Here we really need to know about the concept of “omission” to discipline properly.

There are two results of this trap: lying by omission and approval by omission.

1. Lying by omission is also known as a continuing misrepresentation or exclusion of important information, or giving half of a story. In providing limited information, it is clearly misleading, cheating or evasive attitude on life. This concept is very widely exercised every day in societies, as well as with your child(ren), too. Honestly I surely did this to my own parents. Of course my parents got upset later after they found out all the details, and I got whipped. However, I never knew or understood its dynamics and how to handle it until I grew up to be a teacher. That is the problem.

2. Approval by omission happens when we do not know what to do with the handling of a situation. For example, a child who eats on the couch and hears no comment from a watching parent will interpret the behavior as being okay because nobody said anything. They do not actually hear verbal approval but interpret the silence as approval. However, eventually the parents may get tired of the behavior, and tell the child he is not allowed to eat on the couch. The child feels this is completely unfair to change the rule, because after being allowed by omission, their distress stems from confusion. This type of situation occurs too frequently between parents and children, and is perpetuated by the adult if they are unable to recognize the cycle that has arisen. We really need to have “insight” of life to be a parent. Then, why are you grumbling “They didn’t come with the manual”.

To build a good value system and instill desired habits in children, parents and educators must understand the concept of discipline in its entirety.

There is a great misunderstanding of discipline because the concept is very large and complex, and there are many difficulties of its process. Because everyone’s lifestyle and value system varies, creating a standard for a method of discipline is an extremely challenging task.

In order to do this, first, we must answer the basic problems all of the humanity faces; which bring to memory Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s TV series of “How should we then live?” Of course, there is an everlasting question we face “What is men?” But, the answer to these questions is not good enough; as Dr. Francis Schaeffer says in his series “Nothing humanistic provides the strong base for society as well as individual”. Without spirituality, it is incomplete.

That is why I must establish a congruent answer for the unity of body, mind, and spirit, which leads me into “Human EngineerⓇ”

What is discipline? The term comes from the root word “disciple,” denoting a follower or student of a parent, teacher, or leader. The focus here is learning. Therefore, the following question is, “What is learning and why do we learn?”

As Fillmore Swain said in his book How to Study, “Education is an opportunity, nothing more. It will not guarantee success, or happiness, or contentment, or riches… It may make a man more capable of doing harm in the world, for an educated scoundrel is clearly more dangerous than an ignorant one… The student is not an empty vessel to be pumped full of learning; he is a complex machine which education should help to run properly… Properly employed, however, and combined with high character, with a due regard for the rights of others, and with simple and practicable but high ideals, it should help a man very greatly in making himself of service in the world and so in making his life really successful in the highest sense.” This sums up what learning is and why we learn.

However let me clarify difference between “schooling” and “educating”. “Schooling” is limited to intellectual study to be capable but “educating” is a lifelong process that focuses on emotion(feeling, attitude) as well as intention(will power, motivation). This is modern schooling system’s problem. Education department(actually schooling department) doesn’t have system for standardization nor evaluation for emotion(feeling, attitude) and intention(will power, motivation). This is the reason why you want Human EngineerⓇ!!!

Here is another quotation from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran:

“You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love,
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”

Now you may see how large and complex discipline really is. As most people will say, it is all about “self-control”. Purpose of discipline is making life more productive. However, that is not good enough, because direction of life is much more important than productivity. Reason is we can produce evil well as good. Therefore, ultimate purpose of discipline is learning, practicing and living on “meaning of life”. The “way of life” is what Martial Arts pursue(meaning, purpose, and direction of life) not like sports(include Martial Sports), they pursue winning (productivity).

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 [NIV]”

Then what are the principles of life that we need to base with? And what are the principles of Spirit that we should be base on?

Please refer to my blog, Master Lee’s First Lesson and #1 Principle of Life will be posted soon.

Ⓒ Copyright Jeeho Lee, Human EngineerⓇ