By December 23, 2019 Read More →

Am I loosing my humanity?

This past weekend I experienced an event that made me remember specific wordings of a character in an animee that I used to watch growing up.  I remember sitting in front of a huge square box to watch my favorite animee everyday after school aired at the same time.  Then the next day all the friends at school would be talking about it and get anxious to know the next episode.  Ah the good old days where everything was well-structured in everyone’s life.  Oh and I did catch that specific episode the other day and got hooked on to it without waiting for the next day to watch more of it?

The thing is that life is all about self-discipline.  Everything we do can involve discipline if we choose to.  Imagine putting a box of chocolate accessible to a child, obviously, the child will get out of control with it.  Human emotions are the same way.  They come and go.  If we do not put restrictions or limit to how we ought to use our endless emotions and feelings, then we may harm ourselves.  The moment we lose the discipline, we go haywire.  Just as it takes a month or so to build a habit, the same way it takes one day to ruin it.

  • Self-discipline is a quality that is learned and needs to be applied but it is not easy to maintain.

Nowadays, I see parents putting no control on the number of treats and goodies their kids can get.  As a child, it was a novelty for my siblings and I to get no more than two pieces of chocolate after every meal.  Sometimes, I remember desiring more because those pieces were just too delicious, and that country is famous for its chocolates and our house would be full of chocolate boxes, go figure?.  Sometimes, my mom would give us more pieces, but I had to ask for it.  Actually, my older siblings poked me to do so as they knew that my request would not be refused.  We were such nice kids, although at times my sister and I would sneak into the cabinet where my mom hid all the goodies and get access to a couple of it (not that nice kids after all ?).  Also, how things were given to us made it very special.  Sometimes, things were passed down to me by the older ones which I did not really mind as they were always in mint condition.  We were taught to take care of things properly which shows appreciation for it. This is how I felt we learned discipline as kids.  Now, the moment you give a toy or thing to a little one, it is only good for a couple of hours or days.  Either kids are getting bored because everything is accessible to them easily (so they do not even question it or realize it being given) or they are not being challenged for their skills.  Anyhow, another topic to look into.

With all those experiences, I now appreciate my mom’s way of teaching and helping us with self-discipline because I notice that currently, self-discipline is dissipating.  Example: at any time anywhere, you can catch your favorite show and you can communicate with anyone… You are treated with same day delivery of whatever you are in need of.  That is great but without putting any restrictions and limitations to these privileges, we risk losing our humanity because we take everything for granted.

My mom would homeschool my siblings and I during summer vacation so we can learn about her culture and get to read and write things in her native language.  When we were done with everything, then we were allowed to play outside.  I now also understand why we kept changing live-in nannies growing up, they were just spoiling us, as a result of which my mom put her career on the back burner so we can be disciplined.  However, the generation that I observe now has no restrictions over things.

What does that mean?  Since everything is accessible to me 24/7, I become spoiled!  That is, I do not even bother about questioning the existence of things.  My attitude just gets reduced to utilizing things as a norm for my benefit as I myself happen to be in existence just like that. Unless I put some control over my schedule where I am mindful of what I am doing, then I can save myself from harming my humanity.  In other words, without any proper discipline in one’s daily routine which requires awareness of one’s existence, we spoil ourselves.

  • When I am disciplined, I value things.
  • When I am disciplined, things have meaning for me.

Are we spoiling our kids?  More so, have I spoiled myself?

When you are given limited time on things, then you put all your effort into it because you value it more.  When there is no time limit into our schedule, we tend to relax.  Even most workspaces offer flexible schedule, but the catch is that you are self-motivated and disciplined to get things done.  Similarly, when it comes to extracting meaning from my existence, I need to know that intellectually I can die tomorrow, so why not apply my awareness of existence and get disciplined in searching the meaning of my existence. Why wait for tomorrow if I can fulfill the purpose of my existence now.

  • What is the purpose of my existence?
  • It is to get to know who I am and who my Lord is.

Self-discipline is a must to be successful in life and fulfill the purpose of your existence.  Being disciplined in one’s being and interaction with the universe is not only the result of time-management i.e. managing your time effectively but also utilizing your freewill to remain conscious of the Source of your Existence.

Finally, there is no right and wrong formula in discipline because each case is different.  Also, everything is rapidly changing, for example the typical teenage behavior of rebellion is now seen in children as young as 7 years old.  Is there some extra hormonal supply in the food that we are eating?!  What are we missing in our parenting?  Well, as long as the underlying principles to any teachings are based on being in tune with one’s human disposition, then all is good. Being in tune with our human disposition is the discipline we need to nurture.

“And on earth there are signs of God’s existence visible to all who are endowed with inner certainty.  Just as there are signs thereof within your own selves, can you not then see?”  Quran (51:20-21)

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