Ancient History Teaches Discipline

The disintegration of discipline in schools and in society is neither new nor surprising (Mercury, 25 October). The Ancients were aware of it and advised on how to avoid it.

Plato, who lived 350 years before the Christ – or the Common Era, as it is now called-had this to say on the subject in his book The Republic: “It cannot be hoped that they will grow strong and straight if they are reared amongst images of vice, as upon wholesome pastures, culling much every day by little and little from many places and feeding upon it, until they insensibly accumulate a large mass of evil in their inmost souls.”

Three of the four Proverbs in the Old Testament on parenting were written by the sage Solomon who lived a thousand years before Christ. In each of them ( 13: 24; 22;13 and 29:15 &17) he makes it clear that the rod of correction has virtuous consequences.

Given the unprecedented tsunami of corrupting influences that exist today, the wisdom of the Ancients is more needed than ever before in disciplining children.

Unfortunately, those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Sent into The Mercury and published, 28 October 2017.

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