Self-Control, week 3

During our lessons this week, we will talk about how we can use a form of Self-Control called self-regulation to monitor our own conduct, and correct ourselves when we fall short of our own standards.  We’ll use the story of the time Ike “crawled a plebe” to illustrate this.  Our in-class discussion lesson for this week follows below:

While he was a cadet at West Point, things happened to Ike where he needed to use self-control in ways he didn’t expect.  After his first year, Ike was now a “Yearling”, and was promoted to cadet corporal.  He and the other Yearlings now had the authority to discipline the first-year cadets, who were called “Plebes”.  They could even bully  them in certain ways — this was called “crawling a plebe”.  Ike had been “crawled” plenty when he was a plebe — and now it would be his turn.  One day, a new plebe was running to carry out an order, turned a corner and ran right into Ike.  Ike decided he would have a little fun with him — he would “crawl” him.  He pretended to be very angry, and roared at him:  “What’s this about, Mr. Dumgard?  You don’t look like a cadet to me — you look like a barber!”  The plebe hung his head and said softly, “I was a barber, sir.”  Ike didn’t say anything else — he turned away thinking hard about what he had done.  Later that day, he talked about it with his friend, Paul Hodges.  “P.A., I’ve just done something unforgivable — I made someone ashamed of the honest work he did to make a living.”  Hodges reminded him of the way they were “crawled” when they were both plebes.  “That’s so,”  agreed Ike, “but I’m thoroughly ashamed of myself.  I’ll never crawl another plebe again.”  Ike was as good as his word — he would discipline and correct plebes at need, but never “crawled” one again.

Discussion Questions:

1)  Why did Ike think it would be fun to “crawl” a Plebe?

2)  What made Ike decide he would never “crawl” a Plebe again — how did he know he had done something wrong?

3)  Did Ike realize he had fallen short of his own standards — treating other people with respect?  Was he using self-control when he held himself accountable, and decided never to do it again?

Please share your answers to these questions, and your thoughts about Self-Control, with our school community by using the form below.

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