Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beyond the fear that we have

I realized that the entrance exam is fast coming up and have not written anything to entice people to take the exam. I'm doing that now.

There are so many things people want with their life. I mean, like me, its not like I went here to fulfill some nationalistic sentiment that is within me. To be honest, I came here just to have a life. I think most of us here do. But then life in the Academy changes the person and for most of us, it has defined the kind of people we are and hope to become.

Earlier today, I asked two of my underclass to go to my room and discuss something that I have observed in the way they are doing their duties. It was not some violent discussion but it was more of a scolding. I was telling them that what we are doing here is more than just getting through each day to graduate but we are doing something that is beyond graduation, in fact beyond than our dreams. I told them that we are establishing a foundation that maybe this country can make use of when the time comes.

I am saying this in the light of the recent deaths of our graduates in a war that not so many of our country men agree. I am saying this because I know parents will dissuade their children from taking the PMA Entrance Exam because they are afraid that some general will send them to a war-torn area to die when they graduate. I have talked to people who actually are afraid of what will happen once I graduate in seven months time. I, myself, am afraid to the future that lies ahead of me with many of my upperclassmen making the ultimate sacrifice, wondering if I, too, am prepared to do the same.

I will not lie to people and say that the death is not as real as how it is portrayed in the media. I will not be a hypocrite that all of the fears that most people have about the war that is happening down south is just a stage and will pass in due time. What I will say is that like all of those people who are afraid of sending their children to become cadets, I too am afraid. Like those students who now do not want to go through with their wanting to become cadets because of graduates dying in quick succession, I, too am afraid of dying. But the truth of the matter is we are all afraid everyday of our lives. We are afraid that when we sleep tonight we may not wake up tomorrow morning and see the light of day. We are afraid that our loved ones, although within our reach may meet some crazy accident that will make us lose them. The truth is fear is what makes us humans yet it is not the thing that defines us. To allow it to define us is not being human.

I was watching Brothers and Sisters earlier and related so much to the anguish of the characters who was so afraid of their youngest going to Iraq to join the war. The truth is it was the closest portrayal of how it is with most of my family and the family of the other cadets here. On the day that we learned about the death of our upperclassmen, we huddled up in silence both afraid and sad. But despite that, I look forward to the day when I graduate and join them out there, not because I also want to die, but because by understanding the fear that I have, I learned that there are more reasons to be proud of what I do. I learned that there are more reasons to stop all those violence because the fear has to stop and the job fell on my lap.

I guess, I am not the best person to really entice people to take the PMA exam on Sunday. I am no good at trying to glamorize things especially in the light of what is happening to our country. But my call is not just to take that exam but rather it is not to allow fear to define the kind of person that we are, or rather the kind of people that we are. I am afraid but I will not allow it to define me.

The PMA Entrance exam will be held on the 26th of August in all major cities across the country.

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