There have been a few cases of indiscipline in our society recently. I can point to a certain recently retired Director of the CIA, or to our Federal Government; unable to control the rate of spending, or even the many individual States who have bought into the culture of spending on programs that do not strengthen social bounds, American principles, or the institutions that develop and strengthen business, culture, and our way of life.
Discipline seems to be a forgotten virtue, the good man is no longer idolized. Perhaps every generation perceives a lack of discipline in its newest crop and the old folks shake their heads and look back to when things were simpler and clearer. I don’t know if things were better long ago, or yesteryear, but I am willing to say those times were simpler in some ways. Simplicity breads repetition and regiment, and a regiment leads to clear boundaries and guidelines. Thus Discipline is born of simplicity, or at least a simplicity of mind.
One of the documents that has given me the most to aspire to, that has given me a model to pursue; specifically concerning my profession the profession of Arms, has been the Bushido Shoshinsu: The Code of the Samurai. I have a translation by Thomas Cleary which is considered a pretty fair translation that captures a very substantial amount of the original spirit of the Written Japanese. This book, combined with my religious belief, formed my vision of the strong male I should strive to be. I admit I still have a long way to go before meeting the standards laid down by this document, just as I have a long way to go to actually be “Christ-like”, but I find it comforting and empowering to read this text in conjunction with my spiritual reading. In the end, it is all about selflessness, and that matches with Christ’s example perfectly. So I have no personal issues with taking lessons from the ancients in the East.
We so often worry about understanding everything in our environments. It was once a great virtue of the American to not over think his situation. He weighed and acted as he saw best, his simplicity was his great strength. I have seen determination, grit, and discipline accomplish much more than deep thought and contemplation; these last are for luxurious times. Motivation and resolve are the only vehicles for the tough times; for this time, our time.