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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Casual viewers might need to sit out this heavy topic.


A bond forged between two whom met as strangers some time in their lives, with the willingness to play, work, or simply do things together, and to look out for one another in times of need.

Close friends.

Always willing to sacrifice their own interests to protect yours, and would help you even when they themselves are stretched.

Best friends.

The kind of people with whom you can go through the worst of life together. He/She knows instinctively when you are feeling down, and knows as much about you as a parasite on you. He/She knows your favourite brand of underwear (and buys it for your birthday present), pulls off pranks on you, and still manages to get away with a playful punch from you.

Just how much is defined by our actions? There is a reason why humans act as we do -- the seeming irrationality of our reasonings stem from our own beliefs and values, the core of which is the driver to our actions. Actions per se do not signify much; it is the underlying motivations that speak with a clarity that far surpasses the power of spoken or written word.

Just a short few days back, I found myself staying back in the office to the tune of 5am in the morning to help one of my friend (who happens to have way too much to do). That was after I had finished my share of the work the afternoon, which earned me a rebuke from some of my platoon mates.

"You work too much."

"You clock 8 hours, you still get $500. 16 hours, you still get the same $500. What's the point of torturing yourself?"

I don't concur. It is true that I have finished my work due, however, I find it necessary to help my friend who is in need, surely there is nothing wrong with that?

I would not have noticed the anomality had it not been for one conversation I had with one of the Mortar platoon guys who was also transferred to the same office.

"So what do you feel about your platoon?" he asked.

"Ok, we get by just fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. But you guys (mortar) seem to be very close."

"Yar, we go out almost all the time!"

I remembered that there was a point in time when the platoon sergeant had wanted to organise barbecue outings during one of the block leave days to pull the fragmented platoon together. In fact, in anticipation of opposition, he tried to sell the idea that he wanted it done for "his own sake".

No go. Not only were the guys cold to the idea, some even actively opposed it, stating that it was not within the proper boundaries for the platoon sergeant to dictate our holiday programmes.
They were right, of course. The break was upon our leave time, and he couldn't ask us to do stuff that we did not want to do.

What really shook me to the core was the fact that a cohesion was something nobody was prepared to give their time towards. If we take a close look at the definitions at the start of this long post, you would undoubtly conclude that perhaps, all of us are just mere strangers? That we are suggesting that the formation of this platoon was a convergence of convenience: that people cooperate with each other not out of friendship, but out of necessity.

Have all the tough times been for nothing?

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