Posts about reflections

The General

The military culture is all about saying yes and executing whatever request that was issued from superiors, even if it seem impossible to fulfill. Most do not accept “no” for an answer and are never bothered at the process so long things gets done. There have been numerous occasion where I’ve witnessed the behavior and how uptight people gets, be it good or bad news.

I have absolutely no grudges against the high flyers in the organisation but what I find it disturbing is the lack of human touch towards the people, not to mention how the commoners tries very hard to leave a good impression for fear of repercussion. I’m sure there are guidelines as to how one should behave and the do’s and don’ts in order to maintain a certain status but this should not hinder the trust one should establish with the commoners.

Let me share an account from a colleague of mine whom had to deal with an unbelievable behavior of a senior commander while performing duties during one of the flight.

I was giving a safety brief to the passengers as part of the pre-boarding procedure, of which, there were two senior commanders. Throughout the brief, one of the colonel kept interrupting and attempted to challenge my professionalism and ability to control the passengers in the event of an emergency. The flight was carried out and during de-planning, the colonel tried to walk out of the aircraft when he was not suppose to. I grabbed his arms and he was startled at my determination before grinning.

On the contrary, here was what I recently witnessed while supporting a foreign unit operation:

A one-star general decided to board the aircraft with troops that were preparing to be deployed. He wanted to show his support and appreciation by observing their training. Throughout the flight, he refused to wear a headset connected to the aircraft communication system and sat near the rear of the aircraft where water was leaking onto him from a heavy downpour earlier, observing the troops parachuting out of the aircraft.

When the aircraft eventually landed, the general walked over and grabbed 3 bags of harnesses before walking out of the aircraft, leaving the jump-master chasing behind him.

Granted that the sight of this could be random, but such a small gesture from a one-star general would have easily gained the trust and respect of his men, as opposed to one whom is expected to be treated like a king.

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Ugly side of my fellow countrymen

Term it honored to be the few chosen ones or the unfortunate few to be on the name list, I was on duty for this year’s air force open house. Being the first time participating in such a grand event, I decided to take it positively though this means I had to sacrifice my entire weekend!

As expected, the various aircraft on public display was overwhelmed with many posing for photos and feeling superior being in the pilot’s seat. Not forgetting the long queue for a snapshot in flying suit and helmet as well as the free aircraft rides from lucky draws. I can understand the reactions and anxiety of the general public who look forward for such events since it is not part of their daily lives to be wearing a flying suit or getting a ride in the aircraft.

What pisses me off is the mannerism and patience of the minority. Instead of being patience joining the queue and waiting for their turn, they decided to attract unnecessary attention by providing feedback and demanding immediate action to be taken. Being politically correct, I had to be nice and friendly but in my mind, I thought otherwise! I finally understand how people in the service sector feel when they had to tolerate demands from uncouth Singaporeans and put up a smile at all times.

With the government spending efforts to project the country’s icon worldwide, I feel so ashamed to have such people as my countrymen who made no contributions except to further degrade the name of this little icon with their actions and attitude elsewhere.

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Courage

Courage is a state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to stand and admit wrong doings and mistakes. It is a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one’s character, especially when one is being asked to own up and spill the beans.

I believe that when one commits mistakes, one must have the courage to stand and answer for his actions. One must feel remorseful and guilty of the actions and more so if it involves innocent parties.

The question: Do you think majority of the teenagers out there have the correct attitude and moral courage to admit mistakes? More importantly, do they feel remorseful for what they have done?

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Hello, world

I’m finally back, not from any sort of vacation nor time-off. To be honest, ever since news broke on the departure date for my flying training, my schedule has been somewhat hectic and unpredictable. I can’t seem to gather enough energy and time to do self reflection, less to say sitting down to pen my thoughts in this blog. To my loyal readers whom have been constantly checking my blog for updates, please accept my sincerest apologies.

So, here’s a quick update on what has happened since last month. Just before National Day, my laptop decided to quit on me abruptly and I had to send it to the service centre for repair. Turned out that it was a hard drive failure after multiple diagnostics and the problem seems to puzzle the technician as well. As a result of the failure, I suffered some data lost and files were corrupted. Luckily, I managed to recover most of the files from my backup set though I still lost a few files along the way. This incident has taught me the importance of data backup and automating the process.

It has been three months since I’m supposedly to complete my national service had I not signed on. Most of my friends are either pursuing their further education in university or enjoying civilian life. I’m not implying that I’ve regretting making this choice but I must admit that there are times where I missed being a civilian and the freedom of life, especially after experiencing military life and its workings.

In exactly one week’s time, I’ll be departing to Australia for the second phase of my flying training. This will be a nine months course should I successfully complete the requirements. Based on what I’ve gathered, this training will be a huge difference from my previous one as it is very demanding and challenging. I guess I’m ready to pick up the challenge and I’ve cultivated my mindset to accept things positively, though I’ll be missing my family, friends and food back here.

For the next few days just prior to my departure, I’ll be busy sorting out all the necessary preparations and events that will occur. I was hoping to be able to clear my outstanding vacation leave from last year but that seems impossible now with the tight schedule that leaves no room for discussion. All this is credited to some “brilliant” individual who is demanding and has demonstrated a lack of foresight, understanding and compassion.

Enough said for now. Till the next time I write.

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Quote of wisdom

I came across this quote during a sharing session in camp few days ago and I thought of sharing it here because I’m somewhat inspired by it

In seeking wisdom, the first stage is silence, the second listening, the third remembrance, the fourth practising and the fifth teaching.

Very true indeed.

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A confession with my soul

Dear Diary,

Since the existence on the World Wide Web, I have been able to write and share my thoughts, views, opinions and among others with friends and strangers all around the world. I thank you for accompanying and serving me by displaying the contents appropriately and attracting listening ears.

Time flies! I barely remembered leaving to Australia, Tamworth for my air grading course in February. Having successfully completed the course, I returned to Air Force School a month later. Had it not been my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) results, I would have proceeded for my Air Force Service Term (AFST) course at the Officer Cadet School (OCS) in early April. Instead, I had no choice and all I could do was to start keeping fit and clear my IPPT. Ultimately, this led to a 4 months delay but it has brought me tons of knowledge and gained valuable experiences on subjects related to inter personal relation, human resource management as well as various scenarios that test my leadership qualities and capabilities. Unknowingly, something attractive triggered my mind and I somehow stumbled into someone’s life and made a mess out of it.

Perhaps, all of these were somewhat planned and arranged or it could be God’s gift. I may not see the roadmap planned for my life journey but I believe that there are many things that had occurred or will be occurring in the near future are not within our means and control. If I were to think about it, had I gone for the April 06′ AFST course, I would not have the opportunity to request for a re-examination of my vision that has helped me secure a place in the photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) program. There may be many ups and downs throughout this 4 months but I’ve learnt to better appreciate people, things and my life.

To certain extend, I doubt a portion of what I’ve experienced will be replaceable or even forgiven. I’ve had regrets and there are many times I wished I could look back or even turn back the time and let everything occur once again but this time, I would handle the situation using different style and approach. Then again, what’s done has little chance of reversing it. As saying goes, let bygones be bygones. I’m one who is always deep into thinking about various issues and my mind never fails to come up with ideas. In fact, it is so preoccupied with trying to predict, forecast or even analyze thoughts that it makes me gets emotional easily. The only difficulties I frequently encounter are to express my views, opinions and get the message across to the other party. There have been many instances of this shortcoming, which has lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications and even subject of others’ gossips.

Looking forward, I’m glad this ordeal has ended now that I’m able to close this uneventful chapter and move on. For the next 2 month will be a good time for me to leave the bad memories behind, revisit my resolutions and goals which I’ve set out to achieve and start afresh in a new environment. Still, I’ll be honest about one particular issue that has been bothering me. Although it’ll be a good breakaway from the issue, it will not be easy for the little bits and pieces of memories and image to fade away, for it will always live in my heart and soul.

Yours truly,

Alvin

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