Editorial: Practicing discipline will help

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 09:49 PM

Our lack of discipline just might be the ruin of us all. Erosion is certainly taking place.

Society is getting worse with deadlines. And it doesn’t merely rest with those who are trying to meet them. Rather, equal responsibility is with those who set or must enforce them.

On the positive, we’re forgiving. Pick the bad and ugly among our transgressions and most of the time, with a sincere word of remorse and promise to do better, and if there’s any way for inclusion, we acquiesce and move along.

We need — and like — compassion.

But in some directions we find compassion being taken advantage of by any number, albeit most with good intentions. Others are just plain deceptive. Some make no bones about seeking to gather all they can.

For example, the hurdles costing North Carolina taxpayers each day of this summer are driven by a lack of discipline and failure to demand accountability.

Our balanced budget was to be in place by July 1. That was more than two weeks ago. When it goes into place, the legislature’s short session will quickly wrap up, and lawmakers will go home — no longer spending our money to be in Raleigh.

Collectively, we haven’t wailed loud enough to enforce the law. All the posturing and exchanging of budget proposals — even proud email notices of how many a side has sent — could have taken place June 1-16 rather than July 1-16. But it didn’t.

Get the work done earlier. Meet the deadline. Be not afraid of being held accountable. The variables may indeed be the devil in the details: Medicaid has many layers and issues, as does public education and state salaries.

But the job was known before the session was even close to starting.

And in other walks of society, that too is often the case. We know the scope of a task or project and yet we remain driven by a point in time rather than completion of the assignment.

We need change, starting from within our homes and extending to our communities; starting from tasks we have been given and extending to those for which we hold others accountable.

Compassion and forgiveness are good, worthwhile and should not be lost. Better discipline can help diminish the need for each.