The Value of Discipline

A coach carrying over forty schoolboys and two teachers was traveling along a main highway, when suddenly a car shot out of a side turning and straight into the coach. The interior of the coach filled with smoke. The boys, pupils of a nautical school that prided itself on its discipline, did not panic. They were used to being obedient, so they sat still, waiting for orders.

Through the smoke came the voice of one of their teachers instructing one boy to open the emergency door, and then telling the others to file through it quietly, one by one. Just after the last occupant had left the coach, it burst into flames.

At school the next day the headmaster told the other pupils what had happened, and pointed out that because their friends were accustomed to being obedient they were still alive and unharmed.

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Putting the Practice First
May 13, 1972

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