By Apolinario Villalobos
Generally, it takes a strong will power before we can take control of ourselves to instill even a grain of total discipline in us. Not even those who have gone through strict military training can proudly declare thatthey are well -disciplined. Even canonized saints are not 100% disciplined in all aspects of their lives. Not even Jesus who lost his temper as he cursed a poor fig tree for not bearing fruit, and let out his pent up anger when he drove the“ sinners”away from the temple. This imperfection, should not give us an excuse in violating the rights of our fellowmen or break the righteous Law again and again.
Unfortunately, we have to accept the fact that being undisciplined is more of a habit than anything else. Man by nature is prone to do what form him is the easiest thing. For a drug addict, chain smoker and alcoholic, for instance, it is better to go on with those vices than suffer from the death-like withdrawal seizures. A person who loves foods would rather suffer from the consequential dialysis and chemo or radiation therapies later on than put a stop to his regular uncontrolled binges. A highly – urbanized person who looks at herbal concoctions as strange, unpalatable, colored and odorous quack remedies, would rather fill his guts with synthetic drugs and suffer from kidney, heart, and liver failures later on due to undigested chemicals that are components of the “medicines” in different forms.
Parents cry their hearts out for their “well-loved” kids who are languishing in drug rehabilitation centers and worse, penitentiaries. Tearfully, they ask the Lord, where they have gone wrong. Such act is tantamount to passing on the blame to Him, because these “loving” parents have never missed an opportunity tosmother their kids with things that would satisfy their cravings for material comfort, and most especially, they never miss a single day of worship service during which they implore Him for more financial security for the sake of their children who need it.
If we have to go back to the stories that are written in the Bible, the loss of discipline started with Adam who was unable to restrain himself from partaking of the “fruit ofknowledge” that Eve offered him, who, on her part,blamed the serpent, and eventually, made God drive the three out ofparadise. Currently, We have this kind of blaming act – in “courts of justice” and legislative houses where lawyers, politicians, and government officials point at each other with accusing fingers during case hearings.
Today, for anything unfortunate that befallsman, he is ready with his forefinger to point at something or somebody. For coming in late to work, for instance, there’s the traffic, not the waking up late; for falling off a stair, there’s the structural defect of the steps, not the carelessness; for vehicular accidents, there’s the defective brake mechanism, not the drunk driving; for failing grades, there’s the bitchy teacher, not the laziness to study lessons; for the flood that brings back garbage to streets and houses, there’s the clogged drainage system, not unscrupulous disposal ; even for calamity, there’s God, not the systematic devastation of nature . If only the accusing person will take note of his fingers while doing the act, he will notice that while pointing the lone forefinger to somebody or something, the rest of the fingers – middle, ring and pinky are pointing at him and seemingly restrained by his thumb.
Belatedly, we realized that it is the lack of discipline that causes most of our sufferings. Practically, everyone has a share in the deterioration of our so-called habitat. The degree of our participation varies according to the intensity of our selfishness and lack of concern. Take for instance the unscrupulous logging, mining, dynamite fishing, plundering in the government, accumulation of garbage in city waterways, and polluted atmosphere. Everything boils down to our self-annihilation, toward which even innocent lesser creatures are dragged…