We, as individuals, were introduced to uniforms for the first time when we were going to school for the first time. There was a specific dress which we had to wear while going to school, and it was the same for everybody. The meaning of the term “uniform” is to be the same. This word is a combination of two Latin words: unus (one) and forma (shape or form). If we go back to history, we will know that during the Middle Ages, people were introduced to the concept of uniforms. During those days, people used badges to differentiate themselves from others. It was mostly a practise for military and civil servants to show their dignity in society and distinguish themselves from commoners.Traders used to promote their products by using uniforms, thus showing the individuality of their people. They earned profit and a reputation in society as this is how their products used to get advertised.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, seeing the success of uniforms, many organisations adopted this idea of uniforms, and this is when it took the shape of a dress. Organizations like schools, banks, trade, hotels, travel agencies, etc., were the biggest users of uniforms since they were the faces of these organizations. But does a uniform help an individual to be disciplined or limit one’s individualism? Let us understand.
Punctuality and discipline
Discipline and punctuality go hand in hand, without which we may lose our focus. Discipline helps us to be strict with ourselves and follow rules without fail, the absence of which may not lead us to our goal as each one of us would be working mindlessly. A uniform is a way to be disciplined as well as punctual in our work and organization. It is the way to train our minds to adhere to the rules.
There are a set of rules which we need to follow in different aspects of our lives. While being in school, we need to be punctual, finish our homework and assignments on time, and display good behaviour. Overall, showing what the given uniform has taught us. On the other hand, when we go to our offices, we have our ID cards to show that we belong to a particular firm and, in a way, follow all the code of conduct of the said company. Indirectly, it helps us to be strict with ourselves and be focused on our goal.
A person with a well planned discipline and timetable is always more successful than one who does not have any discipline. People who do not follow any discipline or rules in their life move from one place to another aimlessly, and as it is said, an ideal mind is a devil’s workshop, so do these people create violence and unrest in society.
Our values and identity develop with the development of discipline within ourselves. It moulds us to be better humans by moulding our personalities and the way we present ourselves in front of others. Thus, uniforms are one of the important aspects that help build our character.
Though there are many advantages to having a uniform in an organization, there are some who are against it, saying it limits our individuality. Let’s understand how much this argument is agreeable.
The uniform limits our individualism.
According to some, school uniforms restrict students’ freedom of expression. In Sweden, one of the government agencies said that school uniforms were violating human rights. According to them, “dress and appearance should be considered an individual expression, decided by the students themselves.” According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, stating that “allowing students to choose their clothing is an empowering message from the schools that a student is a maturing person who is entitled to the most basic self-determination.”
It is argued that school uniforms crush one’s voice of expression as well as gender discrimination is upheld by forcing both boys and girls to wear different dresses.
Although for some people, school uniforms violet our freedom of expression, they help to lead our lives with discipline. When we wear the same dress, there is uniformity and sameness among all of us. Nobody is rich, nobody is poor. Nobody is weak or strong either. Once a child learns to walk the path of discipline, it assists them in walking the path of success and easily achieving their goal. This is why, at school level, uniforms are important.