This is an old story about the U.S.S. Enterprise. One evening while traveling along the Eastern seaboard, the captain saw a light in front of them and thought they were going to collide with the other ship. So the Enterprise sent a signal for the other ship to travel in a different direction. “We are the U.S.S. Enterprise and you are on our course. Please go south.”
A message came back, “We cannot move.”
A second message was sent. “We are the U.S.S. Enterprise. If you do not move, we will collide.”
Another message came back. “Sorry, we will and cannot move.”
A last message was sent. “We are the mighty U.S.S. Enterprise. If you do not change course, we will destroy you—guaranteed.”
The message came back: “We are the lighthouse. Your choice.”
Too often we want others to change when it is up to us to change OUR course. This is especially the case regarding discipline when so often discipline in the form of punishment would be unnecessary. The reason is that so many discipline problems are the result of power struggles—as indicated in this story.