Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ego trips... a shame

How a person handles authority says so much of what kind a person he or she is. This is my observation as I go about trying to conforme with the hierarchy that has been set to us as cadets here in PMA. I had this line of thought, after being involved with an upperclass who just wants to prove to himself that he is someone of authority. Power can corrupt and this is very rampant in some of the cadets here that will become the "future leaders of the land."
I came from a class in Ethics and since the weather was so cold, I rushed to the comfort room to take a leak. Most of my classmates also did and in a matter of minutes the comfort room was full of my classmates. But then there was something different, I could here from the background as I was urinating greetings from my classmates, obviously there was someone more senior to us inside. I noticed that the upperclass was somewhere near the mirror and as I was about to leave I said my greetings to acknowledge his presence in the room. A little while, as I was standing near the room for my next class, a classmate told me that the upperclass wants me to report to him during my open time. I figured it was about the greeting, maybe he did not hear me. During the class, I tried to think about what happened whether or not I should report to him. When the class ended, I was still not sure only to meet him in the stairway, telling me again to report to him. I asked what is it about and he started yelling at me saying that I should not ask. So I decided, he will have to fetch me before I even think of reporting to him. I reasoned that if it was some important thing, he could just tell me what it is so that I could see the importance of me having to see him. I believe it was just some ego trip, something common to cadets who are unable to handle authority in a mature way.
This is a common thing. Most of the time, upperclassmen think that because they are more ranking, they can order anything to their subordinates sometimes to the point that they already violate the person. My rationale is simple, the reason why I am an upperclass is because I have people under me. Without them I am nothing, so it is my responsibility to take care of them, not order them around as if I am some God that they should follow. Although obedience is taught to us, there is a clear distinction between being stupid and being obedient. Even in the military, I believe it is justified not to follow a useless order, such as reporting to an upperclass simply because he wants to impress upon me the value of greeting. The next time I see him, I will greet him at the top of my voice just to make sure he hears it. In our present culture of cadets, we have focused more on the privileges of rank rather than the reponsibilities of it. In so doing, as each cadet is promoted to higher ranks his competence declines. The best uniform is worn by the most junior cadet. The reason is simple, the higher the class, the more powerful you get and those below you can not do anything even if you wear the most shabby uniform. This then sends the message to the underclassmen that when they earn more rank, they can stop being snappy. And the cycle continues. In the end cadets do not develop the sense of responsibility and all they do is to ego trip, order other cadets just so they can validate that they are more powerful. It' as if the stripes and the chevrons that they wear is not enough.
This is the reality of immaturity, of people who do not value responsibility, of people who are simply wasting all the money and effort allocated for them to become "military officers as values centered individuals dedicated to a selfless service to the AFP and the nation." I am hoping that some of the cadets will just read what I am writing. I do not wish to be preachy, but obviously something has to be done. Protocol dictates that I have to wait until I become, I can not caution my upperclass, I can just make sure that his bad attitude will not be handed down to my generation and to those who will follow after me. I just heard that the upperclass is hunting me down, I hope he finds me and a confrontation erupts so that I can just tell him how stupid he is. As for me, I will just take note of the lessons I have to learn and remember not to stoop down to his level, I pity him to think he'll graduate in 7 months... well the world is just not perfect.

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