Discipline vs. Punishment


Many people cringe when they see the word “discipline” because they are confusing discipline with punishment. Discipline is something you do for someone; punishment is something you do to someone.

Discipline is the missing quality in many people’s lives. Individuals who have never been disciplined consequently do not know how to discipline themselves. A welfare experiment in Wisconsin beautifully brings all of this to light. Their ground-level experience teaches that the single biggest obstacle to work isn’t a lack of skills, but a lack of discipline.

A column by Cokie and Steven Roberts published in The Dallas Morning News reported that Wisconsin’s then-Gov. Tommy Thompson said, “Most people do want to work, but they don’t know how.” And the only way to learn good work habits is through practice — getting out of bed, showing up on time, finishing a job … and then coming back the next day.

One thing has become crystal clear in the Wisconsin experiments, namely that just sending welfare recipients to work isn’t enough. Many lack the resiliency or resources to cope with calamity. A car breaks down or a babysitter fails to show up, and their resolve dissolves. Instead of taking a bus, they take a day off.

The Wisconsin experience, according to Cokie and Steven Roberts, teaches two hard truths: to break the cycle of dependency, work is necessary, but it also is expensive. The British philosopher Thomas Carlyle once said, “All work, even cotton spinning, is noble.” So is burger-flipping.

The only “dead-end job” is going to the mailbox to collect a welfare check. However, someone who has never held a job and who has never been taught responsibility or how to set the alarm clock or catch a bus needs someone to teach them “how” and require them to follow through. If all states considered Wisconsin’s findings and made changes accordingly, more people would be at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through [email protected]

Related Articles

0

Syria’s religious war

If there was a moment when the United States could have productively intervened in Syria, it looks like that moment

1

The Nixon resignation at 40

On the occasion of this week’s 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency, The Washington Post sponsored a

0

Some interesting history about the inspiration behind Florida’s lawsuit against ObamaCare

This week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of: Florida vs. United States Department of Health

comments

Share This

Share this post with your friends!