By Tom Maani Bamuheire
Psychology has identified two main traits that seem to produce an immensely broad range of benefits to man: self-control and intelligence. Despite many decades of trying, psychology has not found much one can do to produce lasting increases in intelligence.
But, self-control can be encouraged and strengthened. Self Control is dominance over all desires.
It is one of the most important spiritual virtues that are essential for growth in the knowledge of Allah/God, pursuit of the Truth, and attainment of our future destiny. It helps us to control our thoughts and emotions, regulating task performance and making decisions.
Most of the problems that plague modern individuals in our society — addiction, crime, domestic violence, sexually transmitted diseases, prejudice, debt, unwanted pregnancy, educational failure, underperformance at school and work, lack of savings, failure to exercise — have some degree of self-control failures as a central aspect.
It is a virtue elders need to encourage or strengthen in children, youth and themselves. Self Control is therefore important and recommended for everyone without exception or exemption regardless of gender, age or position or nature of job
Though this quality is innate in every man, not many of us try to put it to practice and avoid actions without weighing facts against each other. Leaders should be aware of its negative effects on themselves and people they lead or parent. Parents who exercise self-control and maintain silence at junctures have in the end come up with successful marriage relationship and healthy families.
Who reminds our children in villages and everywhere in Uganda, of this very important Value of Self-control that laden with virtues of Temperance, contentment, frugality, continence, ambition and good temper? Richard Templer who, in his Rules of Parenting advises parents never to lose their tempers when parenting, because they will be grooming adults with questionable temperaments. He stresses it that a parent who loses temper becomes a loser in the end.
The earliest of all warnings against lack of self-control is The Holy Quran, (Sulah Ai-Nisa 4:11) where we are reminded never to weaken our souls and perforate our hearts by being unable to forgive, impulsive and lustful, and The Holy Bible (Proverbs 25:28) where the scripture advises us to always be self-controlled so that we are like cities broken into and left without protection, and easy for thieves to break into, steal and destroy.
Living with self-control or in fully aware of its importance benefits one individually and socially. Different categories of people will benefit greatly at their different stages of development or growth. When you live without Self-control: A Youth - besides contracting STDs including HIV and AIDS, you are heading towards early pregnancy (Girl) and dropping out of school, failing advancement of your career, negative addictive traps and behaviors … your list is endless.
A Parent – you are going to harm your spouse more especially physically and psychologically besides negatively influencing your children, just because of lack of self control and emotional maturity. A Politician – the same as of a parent if you are one, but you are likely to betray your electorate by exhibiting impulsive behaviors by walking out or away from meaningful assemblies or meetings just on a mere clash of opinion or other compromisable situations. A Soldier, memories of moments of what they can do in the event of loss of self-control are still fresh in our minds.
The writer is the Chairman, PROVE Uganda