Thursday, January 15, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue.

I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

What are your thoughts on “discipline”? Positive? Negative?


Susan Barnes said...

I once thought "discipline" was a synonym for punishment! Even now it still has negative connotations for me.

Greg said...

Thanks. I think that discipline is often seen that way - punishment - and that tends to ruin any possible positive dimension it might have.

John said...

Funny, the other day in my Bible Study we went over Hebrews 12, where it talks about God's discipline and that we should rejoice in it, for correction (another word for discipline) is a sign of a loving and caring parent.

I guess I see discipline as good, albeit painful, thing. It's not something that I enjoy, but I'm thankful that I've been disciplined so many times.

Discipline can, however, be abused. Some churches, for example, over-discipline people, though I think that comes from doctrinal and exegetical instability.

Greg said...

Thanks. Good comments. Discipline in and of itself would seem to be both a human need and a theological force.

As you say, problems arise when it's abused and distorted, instead of being seen as something necessary and good for human flourishing.

Joshua said...

I hear discipline and I have images of some wacko Zen monk or a cagey ex-hippie up at 5 in the morning doing work. It seems to me that discipline in this sense is more internal than external, and represents a rigorous, conscious, commitment as opposed to the sloppy, half-ass crap that we typically do. So for me it seems something to aspire to... more so than an image of a parent whipping their child with a razor-belt or something. However, people seem to admire it, but don't really have the where-with-all to take it to the next level, unless we're discussing something like disciplining the body or whatnot.

Greg said...

Thanks for your insights. Maybe discipline is a notion that carries with it internal and external markers.

I agree with your take on the internal dimension. Why does the half-ass crap have such power?

By the way, "ex-hippie"(s) don't exist because there were never any hippies in the first place.

John said...

Greg -

I think Prisca would disagree with you on the hippie comment. From what I remember, she said....need I complete the statement?

Joshua, I agree with your statements on the internal. Internal discipline is something that will transfer to the external living as well.

So would you say discipline, like correction, is a bad thing?

Greg said...

Dare I say it? - poor mother in law's sometimes get the worst of it - but I'll go ahead anyway - Prisca was and is misinformed.

John said...

I think you should publish an article about your views on hippies (or the lack thereof, in your thinking). I would be very interested to read it, as would all the ex-hippies (or ex-never-were-hippies, as it were).

Joshua said...

John, that's funny.