Once a male Singaporean reaches the legal age, he is bound to serve the much dreaded National Service. This military conscription would last for 2 years.
Last Friday, I received the letter informing me to arrange for a medical examination relating to the conscription. And truth be told, my mind went on overdrive. I was panicking, worrying and becoming paranoid of what would happen when I lost my freedom. While I always knew of the fate that awaited me and other Singaporean guys, the letter (something that I could touch and see) told me that my time to serve the army was nearing and it was reality.
Subsequent to the letter, I made a decision. I chose to embrace the army.
As you know, I have many goals. I thought about how serving the army would serve my goals. It is opportunity to develop skills such as being able to think in the midst of crisis, manage time, maintain my well-being and persevere. I will be fitter and can use the military experience to develop my personal style of martial arts. This experience can also prepare me for my year long Yoshinkan Aikido training in Japan, which I intend to apply for.
Before receiving the letter, which was like a wake-up call telling me that this was reality, I would tell you that thinking this conscription as something positive is simply brainwashing yourself with nationalistic propaganda. Not anymore.
If I were to approach the conscription with negativity and resistance, I will end up committing suicide. Aikido has taught me to harmonise with life’s adversities; this doesn’t mean to agree and bow down to adversity. It means to maintain your calm and mind to tackle any issues.
Right now, I have to prepare myself through training for stamina, ridding myself of insect phobia and ridding myself of habitual worrying. I have to be proactive.