Last Updated on 2016-05-19 , 1:56 pm
Usually, life lessons are only learnt when life changing situations occur, and most of the time, these situations are usually tragedies. In a way, I guess that we Singaporean males are actually fortunate, in a sense, to be able to experience a life changing situation without going through a tragedy, though some might disagree.
When people say that you enter the army as a boy and emerge from it as a man, that is extremely true, and while we may all whine and cry about how this entire experience is a waste of time, I beg to differ. I have changed from before I entered the army, and I knew people who have said the same things. In the army, not only do you learn discipline and commitment, you will also learn maturity, appreciation and a zest for life.
In my own opinion, Basic Military Training or BMT for short is the most life changing experience you will ever get within your entire two years of service. This is the time when you experience a cultural shock and an abrupt change to your lifestyle, and where changes effected will be felt most deeply. After all, we all know that nothing will stuck to you as hard as new things, and BMT is the time where we have the most trouble adjusting to military life.
So read on to find my take on the 6 life lessons that can only be learnt in BMT and why you should just disregard what the naysayer says and enlist with a positive mindset.
Appreciation for safety
Singapore is a safe city, with strong military presence in the region and low crime rate. Everyone knows that, and most of us take this for granted. When you are in BMT, you will come to realize the hard work carried out in the background by countless others for our country to achieve its status in the world today. Be proud of the part that you are currently doing to help Singapore and know that you are doing your part to ensure the safety of your family and friends in Singapore for the next two years of your life.
When we are in BMT, we will learn that every actions has consequences which we have to take care of ourselves as the person(s) we usually turn to for such things are no longer available. We learn to be independent and to foresee how our every choice will actually lead to positive or negative outcomes and we learn to depend on ourselves in time of trouble.
Importance of social skills
When you are in BMT, you learn to be more sociable and tactful. You learn about the pecking order that will be similar in the corporate working world and you are exposed to more people outside your social circle. Enlisting in BMT helps you to build up on your communication skills and realize the importance of social networking. After all, its either you wise up or you get subjected to “blanket parties” every night.
In BMT, you are placed into situations that helps your commanders to assess your leadership skills. You could be placed as platoon I/C or 2 I/C or you are required to go for the SIT test, whichever the reason, you have the opportunity to assess your own leadership ability and if you are inclined, to determine which are the areas you are going to have to work on.
Appreciation for your family
In Singapore, while I cannot speak for all of us, some of us might place our friends above our family. In BMT, you will come to realize how much your family has done for you to make your life so comfortable when almost everything is taken away, since you will not know the importance of something until you have lost it, and you realize how hard it is to navigate through life without them standing by your side.
Appreciation for the simple things in life
This, I personally feel, is the most important lesson we can learn from BMT. You will come to realize and appreciate simple freedom (choosing the time you want to sleep or wake at) or food (there are much worse things we can introduce our palette to) or family. Many of us today are unhappy with our lives, and we always focus on things that we don’t have rather than on things that we do have. Being in BMT takes us away from things that we have temporarily and make us appreciate it all the more when they are given back to us.
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