I hate discipline. Disciple requires conscious effort which doesn’t necessarily include true desire. Doing things from true desire is so much more fun.
Take music for instance. Sitting down to play an instrument without the drive of desire to do it is an empty experience. But playing an instrument because i feel like doing it is a totally different experience.
With desire fueling me, i can make mistakes, look up chords, and play a piece over and over and remain happy and motivated because all of myself is aligned with the experience. Mistakes are then just part of the learning process, and it doesn’t matter to me how long it takes to learn a piece because there are few parts of me there out of guilt. I am doing what i am doing because i want to.
A few years ago i went on a cleansing diet because i wanted to, was willing to, and i felt i needed to for my health. It was a really restricted diet, and it was three months long. The first 3 weeks were hell because i was detoxing, but after that i started to feel better and better. I lost a bunch of weight and my step became so much lighter.
However, after a few months i went back to my usual habits, and gained the weight back. I have thought many times that it would be good for me to go back on this diet but i haven’t been able to convince myself to. I have no desire to, no motivation. I so love my coffee and wine and chocolate and … you get the picture. I am not good at deprivation.
Its a real balancing act. Right now i am observing this split between desire and discipline in a boy i caretake. He recently began playing clarinet. He was super excited to start, but you know how kids can be … uber excited, but when it comes to practicing, that’s another story.
His mother has him on a schedule of 20 minutes of practice a day. This isn’t going over very well, as he also has homework and reading to do daily after school. So now when he is required to practice, he is starting to hate it.
As well, his embuochure is still very undeveloped, so after blowing for 5 to 10 minutes, his lips are done. The rest of his time is pretty unproductive.
I took clarinet in school, and don’t ever remember being forced to practice. My mother was too busy for that kind of direction. I didn’t practice a lot, but i loved playing in the band and being part of something bigger. I remember feeling elated at times when we all played something well together.
So i feel a dangerous precedent can be set by adhering to a forced schedule. Doubt comes up; if we don’t force our children to learn through discipline, will they just become lazy, unproductive couch potatoes? Or will they, if give the chance to seek out enterprising and interesting things to do, do it from their own desire? Then there is the equation of technology absorbing all their creative juices. I have such mixed feelings about this. I know how easy it is to waste tremendous amounts of time on fb. I also find it all absolutely fascinating, and also potentially very creative.
So there you go. Both sides of the coin. What to do. What to do.