Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where's Your Flag? [Introduction]

Yes, I know it has been AGES since I blogged. It has just been a crazy quarter of the year for me this 2010. As you would have probably realized by now (due to the sad lack of updates), I was in National Service for the first 2 months and 1 week of the year. Then I had my SPM results and working stint in a hospital for a week. So NOW, I’m finally, finally free to update this to prove that, ‘NO, THIS BLOG IS NOT DEAD’.

The problem with going away for so long is that I just have too much to write. I have just too much to say because I experienced so much. That was partly also the reason why I procrastinated blogging about my NS experience until now. It was information overload that whenever I start typing, I end up pressing the backspace button and the little red ‘X’ at the top right hand corner.

But the again, I realize if I don’t get moving on it, I’ll NEVER do it. So here goes.

One of the defining moments of NS is this – OUR COMPANY FLAG ALWAYS WENT MISSING. No, seriously. The thing is, we’re supposed to keep our flag with us at all times. Yes, even when we’re sleeping. Under no circumstances were we to ask someone else to take care of it for us. It was our responsibility and we were not even allowed to pass it to our Officer-in-Charge of our company.

But in a typical funny-now-but-not-so-funny-then moment, we handed it over to a trainer. That’s right. We HANDED IT OVER. You would think we learnt our lesson after writing 50 lines on how we will take care of our flag the same way we take care of out life but I beg to differ. The second time we lost it, it was because it was left in the guys’ dorm. This time, we had 125 lines. We felt like we were in pre-school again. The third time was classic, we just walked off and left it there in the hall. This time, the trainers hid our flag and we had to hunt for it while everyone else were collecting their handphones for the last time of camp. That’s right. WE LOST OUR FLAG WHEN THERE WAS ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT OF CAMP!!!

Even though I was frustrated beyond belief due to this, looking back, there are a lot of lessons to be drawn from these incidents. And a lot of parallels can be drawn to our character and life as a whole.

What is a flag?

A flag is a piece of fabric, often flown from a pole or mast, generally used symbolically for signaling or identification.

The key word here is this – IDENTIFICATION.

Throughout camp, I came to realize that our flag wasn’t just a piece of cloth. It was more than that. It symbolized our unity, our spirit, our determination, our character and our core values. It represented who we are and whenever anyone saw it, they knew that this flag was Alpha’s.

In the same way, we carry a flag with us in life too. Well, obviously we don’t lug around a piece of cloth and wave it wherever we go. The flag we carry about is not physically visible, but it is apparent in the way we lead our lives. After all, what it that people will remember us by?


That’s the flag we bring around. It represents who we are and whenever anyone sees it, they know whom it belongs to.

So from the three incidents where we lost our flags, I could draw three lessons.

First, that there are always people around and circumstances that will arise to steal your identity and corrupt your character. And sometimes, they don’t need to do it by force. We will willingly give in.

Second, there are also times when it is a collective responsibility to uphold what we believe in. One individual’s action will affect the whole team.

And third, if we are not careful, we will make the same mistake over and over again and compromising ourselves for the same vice.

So yes, I’ll divide this post into three sections because it will kill my eyes (and yours) if I were to put this in one MEGA post.

And Sarah-Ann, I will finish what I start. =)