Focus on Responsibility, Rather than Discipline

Everett McKinley Dirksen (1896 – 1969) was a U.S. Congressman and Senator from Illinois. As a Senate leader he played a highly visible role in the politics of the 1960s. He helped write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and played the decisive role in its passage. The Dirksen Senate Office Building was named after him.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Everett Dirksen, viz., “I am a man of principle and my first principle is the ability to change my mind.”

So it is with me when I decided to emphasize “discipline” in my newsletters. A few comments influenced me to return to my original emphasis on “responsibility”:

1) Harry Wong, who reminded me that my mission is to promote responsibility.

2) Steve Sroka, who said to me, “Responsibility connotes action from INSIDE, and discipline usually connotes someone else’s action to someone else—from the OUTSIDE .”

3) Kerry Weisner’s approach that NEVER refers to “DISCIPLINE.” Rather, she thinks of the hierarchy of the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM (Part III of the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model) as an OPPORTUNITY for young people to have a reference or rubric for making decisions in life