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TitleYou Can Win
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He is right. In not discharging their responsibilities, his parents are also to blame although
it does not absolve him of his responsibility.
Giving choices to children is important, but choices without direction result in disaster.
Complete mental and physical preparation is the result of sacrifice and self discipline.

Parents spend an average of 15 minutes a week in "meaningful dialog" with their
children--children who are left to glean whatever values they can from peers and TV.

--Journal of the American Family Association

Ask yourself: Without discipline,

♦ can a captain run a ship effectively?
♦ can an athlete win a game?
♦ can a violinist play well at a concert?

The answer is, "Of course not." Why then do we question today, in matters of personal
conduct, or to achieve any standard, if discipline is necessary? It is absolutely necessary.
Today the philosophy is: "If it feels good, do it."
I have heard parents innocently saying, "I don't care what my kids do so long as it makes
them happy. That is all that matters." I ask them, "Wouldn't you want to know what makes
them happy?" If beating people up on the streets and taking their things away are what
make them happy, there is a word in the English language for them, it is called
How and where we derive our happiness from is just as important as the happiness itself.
It is a result of our values, discipline and responsibility.
We keep hearing "do what you like." The reverse is just as true. Like what you do. Many
times we need to do what ought to be done whether we like it or not.
A mother comes home after a long day's work, takes care of the household chores, looks
after the baby and goes to sleep exhausted. In the middle of the night the baby cries.
Does mama feel like getting up? No, but she gets up anyway. Why? For three reasons:

♦ Love
♦ Duty
♦ Responsibility

We cannot live our lives by emotions alone. We need to add discipline, no matter what
age we are. Winning in life comes when we do not succumb to what we want to do but do
what ought to be done. That requires discipline.

Labeling and Put-Downs By Parents, Teachers and Supervisors

Have you heard some parents playfully or affectionately calling their kids "dummy" and
"stupid"? Labels stick for life. When the kids grow up they will be sure to prove the
parents right. Labels do not only stick for life but for generations. The caste system in
India is a prime example of how labeling can hurt. Upper caste or lower caste, "If it is not
a label, what is it?"

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makes a person with these qualities good person? It is because these are the kind of
people who are dependable, stand up for justice, help the needy, make life better for
themselves and those around them. To recognize goodness in all its forms, we need
benchmarks and standards. Benchmarks can be ethical, or legal, or both. Ethical ones
deal with right and wrong and all the gray areas that are in between leading to what is
good and more good and what is bad and more bad.

*journal of the American Family Association, November / December 1991.


What would you do in the following situations?

1. You know the taxi fare from your home to the airport is $64. You have paid it before,
you know it is the correct fare. This time the taxi driver asks for $32. What would you

2. You are dining in a restaurant and you ordered four dishes and the waiter brought all
four but by mistake, billed you for only three. What would you do?

3. Your best friend is terminally ill and you are a life assurance salesman. They needed
$100,000 worth of insurance. No one knows and no one can find out that your friend is
dying. Would you write the policy?

You cannot legislate ethics. What advice would you give to your children under the same
circumstances? Is your behavior conforming with the advice you would give your children
in the same situation? We start learning ethics right after birth and all through our lives.
Can we change ethical behavior? Yes, we need ethical training.


♦ Greed
♦ Fear
♦ Pressure

Pressure to perform does not justify unethical acts. To be treated fairly is not the same
thing as being treated equally.


Ethics or lack of it is evident in every profession. Greedy doctors do unnecessary
procedures and surgery. Lawyers bend the truth. Parents and children alike tell white
lies. Accountants and secretaries often falsify reports.
When we cheat the people around us, most of all we are cheating ourselves. We are
preparing ourselves to be cheated. Prosperity brings responsibility. We cannot build
industry and infrastructure while destroying the moral and social fiber.
The consequences of not following ethical behavior are the same as not following legal
behavior. Some people will never be ethical. They think they are taking the easy way. In

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