Let's first talk about achievements.
I've, of course, completed this 2 years of National Service with pride, with my constant strive for excellence, and my never-giving-up. Ultimately, where I stand today, is a result of what I've constantly been doing. I've said this before, while getting my promotion to a CFC on my very last working day isnt the best way to get the rank, but it's certainly a testament to my efforts and my work attitude in this whole of 2 years, or at least in my unit. Not to say that the others don't deserve it (but some reaaaaallllly don't), but the way I've got it is simply a story I'd continue to tell.
While people are always looking at higher rank = higher pay. No doubt, I have to admit its true, but ultimately, these people really fail to see that the inner essence of holding a higher rank is that of responsibilty, commitment, and most importantly, attitude. Not to try to put myself in a all-angelic light with a halo over my head, but really, looking at how certain people behave just disgusts me. Its a common scene in the SAF, where people 'wayang' and 'angkat' commanders just so to be able to skip duties, or receive better treatment, or have a higher chance of promotion. But come on, the result is nothing but damage to the whole meritocratic structure so emphasized by Singapore in general.
Digressing a little, it's really come to a point whereby the 'meritocracy' in Singapore is merely judged by these certain standards which people have already know how to go around. In terms of qualifications, people actually study just to get good grades. Who actually cares on which date did which person did what and where when it comes to learning History. What most would care, is really just memorising what is required for exams, how to write essays in a certain manner that would give them the best scores. There is no longer any positive attitude and essence in learning. It's only about getting what they want to achieve - good grades that would secure their 'future'.
To put things into perspective, I have to agree some people really do see the essence of certain things, but perhaps, those who 'wayang' are so good that they have misled people into really thinking they are good, or also perhaps there are just too few people who believe in doing what is right.
I quote my RSM that "its most important to have the right attitude. it's ok if you dont have the physical fitness, but if you have the right attitude, you will be able to train and go far. it's ok if you dont have the knowledge, but if you have the right attitude, you will be able to seek to learn, and go far."
OC also said "Today most people sign on for money, it shouldn't be like that. I feel insulted when people only sign on for the money when i signed on to really hope to do something."
It may be the regulars who still see a point in keeping the system fair and just, and really, few NSFs do. Yet for people like me who really believe in having the correct attitude, and would want to correct the wrongs as much as possible, it's at least a little heartening to know that things arent that bad.
To the accolades I've achieved, of course, not to brag or whatsoever. Some of these are also only just my personal achievements, but I still would like to list them. Let's go back to Tekong, nothing very much amazing or worth mentioning, but still I'd like to say I've made it through smoothly. The experience was a meaningful one, with the all-inspiring PC/2IC. SI was where really I managed to find myself again, being the person who'd gladly volunteer, who'd gladly take up responsibilities, who'd try to correct wrongdoings. Yes, I still am proud of being ranked 4th in the best IC2 platoon then. Coming into unit, it's almost just like a natural thing for me to continue being myself, stepping up at times when no one was willing to. It might seem I'm trying to wayang, trying to show I'm better than the rest, but frankly, it was never my intention. All I wanted was just simply, to do things right, do things good, and more importantly, never back off without a fight (of course, when it comes to physical activities, I do kinda give myself a break. Just my inferiority complex at work. =X) Getting nominated for best soldier at a time when the seniors are still around probably is no easy feat. Frankly, I've never thought I'd land the award, but fair enough, I guess I earned my position by just being myself. While the initial stages of getting award made me feel uneasy, especially with people making fun of it, and somewhat putting pressure on me being the next CFC, I guess at the end of the day, it's probably just my paranoia.
2 years of National Service will come to an end soon, in but a few days time. All the blood, sweat and hardwork. All the cheers, jeers and heartfelt emotions. All the friends, enemies, and frienemies. It hasnt been a smooth journey, but I thank everyone who gave me a wider perspective of the world. Welcome to the real world! Things are never as fair and straightforward as it seems, and people who seem to be the best and closest to you, may just turn on you any moment just for the sake of their own 'survival' or benefits.
"我不入地狱谁入地狱 VS 人不为己，天诛地灭"
two very meaningful quotes from my 2 officers yesterday.
probably to cheer me up, probably i should take it as a positive thing and cheer up. but well, im still moody. im still tired.
they say the superman will never fail, it seems like even the guy of steel is crumbling down. real soon.
and they have the cheek to be working for offs? shame on them. but as what ms raj in one of those comprehension sessions, "the pursuit of happiness and joy is very closely linked to being able to flirt with deprivation.
i think i've been rather reflective this week, with so few people around. i wouldn't deny perhaps i've did stuff just because i'm following what others are doing. yes, indeed, its what they want me to do. but really, its still tough. wanting me to control myself, instead of going to do stuff, going to take the initiative, i'm told to tone down. told to 'let others have a chance at shining'. really, i've thought it through, have i really robbed others of the chance to shine because i'm doing too much, wanting to take on too much? or really, is that just me? as i've told estelle yesterday, its not that we want to steal the limelight, its not that we want to wayang, its not that we want to specially do something so that we would get rewarded. no doubt, we subconsciously expect that certain amount of reward, that certain amount of recognition. yet, whatever we do, we do our best, we put our best foot forward even when we feel demoralised, unappreciated. purely, and simply because, we have that sense of pride, that sense of responsibility, that inner voice and determination in us that tells us to do whatever we've said to do with our best effort.
frankly, 2 years of national service. probably no one would want to give it their all. probably the majority will find it a waste of time. and perhaps the people who may really give their best, give their all, are the officers, who've been 'brainwashed' so to say. then again, that's just a majority of the population. of course, i don't deny the fact there are people like me, people who really take pride in ALMOST EVERYTHING we do. big or small. whatever it may be. once in awhile, i see my ex-NC-ians, ex-NYJCians, my ex-schoolmates' on their online social platform. seeing how well they're doing well and good too, makes me sometimes feel, could it be the upbringing, the background? or perhaps, its just the social circle. but whatever the case, i'm being brought up this way, to give it my best in everything, to take pride in whatever i do.
ultimately, this week may have still been a busy week, but i really am not at my busiest. but truth be told, i feel guilty, i feel upset, i feel hurt for not being up to my personal standards.
frankly, its really getting a little hard for me to properly phrase myself in the kind of Chinese standards i used to have. seems like army has indeed changed me - for the worse perhaps.
anyway, i really have no idea if its just me being too myself, letting my mind run too wild, wandering into those crazy thoughts that i may probably have sunk too deep in. i didnt use to think if the friends around me were worth keeping for life. i didnt use to think if the friends i made could last me a lifetime. to put it bluntly, i perhaps am becoming more strict in choosing and categorising my friends. is this a right thing to do? to categorise them into people whom i could pour out to, and those who are just fun to be with, or those who just happen to be passers-by in my life. frankly, for the past 19+ 20 years of my life. too much have happened. making friends who eventually happen to be just leeches who leech out everything from you and then chuck you aside. or those whom i thought i could trust but end up hurting me. or perhaps those who are just almost there, someone who would appear in my mind for no proper reason, whom i can just suddenly feel like talking to, about anything and everything under the sun. listen to them talk about their life, and me about mine.
it probably will not be the first time i'm saying this, but now i'm repeating it again. its really sad to know this, even after so many years, that i really havent found many true, real, good friends to keep for life. not in primary school. maybe some in secondary. some in JC. some in NS. but still, few. yes, its not the numbers that matter. not quantity, but quality. but seriously, who wouldnt want both?