All too often we’re told “sort your lives out”; for it’s a favorite saying at regiment. What is amazing is that while we are expected to be on time and prepared, very rarely does the regiment do us the same courtesy. All too often the stigma of “hurry up and wait” comes into play as we are hurried from one place to the next only to spend most of our time standing around. The nickname the guys and I have come up with for this is “Wait Training”, as that seems to be the most frequent regiment exercise – patience – all 3 years, 2 months and 2 weeks of it.
I’m sorry to those 75% of Bermudians who think conscription is a good idea for frankly I think it’s a waste of time for the majority of youth who are forced to be there. The benefits for us lowly privates just aren’t there. The only benefits are in favor of the country should it need to be entertained from a circus of trained animals and put on a show or act like slaves exploited to provide a cheap labor force for times of emergency. It is unjust and frankly quite ridiculous and I don’t see how many in the community don’t see that, but ultimately there is nothing that my fellow conscripts or I can do about it, we’re stuck. This is what the greater majority believes we should be doing and as a minority there simply isn’t much that we can do aside from wait it out or get unruly and riot.
Despite the belief that many youth fail to give back to the community, I’m desperately trying to figure out how to make a difference for the island to ensure there is a future for young Bermudians. Regiment simply isn’t it, it isn’t going to provide affordable housing, it isn’t going to provide the education my generation has been robbed of and it isn’t going to help most of those soliders who don’t have jobs get jobs. Are we nothing but clowns out to put on a show for the rest of the community? Out to be laughed at as we’re prodded to do tricks like spin on command and walk in unison at the threat of imprisonment and extra years of conscription if we do not perform? Our commanders might as well wield branding irons as you will be branded with a criminal record if you step too far out of line.
I’ve joined and contribute to so many organizations I can barely keep my head afloat. Bermudians For Referendum, Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and Youth on the Move are just examples, let alone trying to keep a regular commentary about how to improve Bermuda in blog form, work a full time job, somehow manage to find a reasonable place to live (which if you know of anything – I’m still looking), assist government, the UBP, ABC and whatever other organization I can convince to take on and embrace modern technology to encourage better communication going amongst Bermudians and somehow, on top of all this I have fantasies of trying to run for Parliament to make a difference. I must be wasting my time as clearly Regiment does more then all of these things.
Those in Regiment may well be right; I do need to sort my life out. I simply care too much about trying to make a difference and it is growing ever clearer that caring about Bermuda’s future is a pointless escapade that will only do me more harm then good. Why can I not accept that 75% of Bermudians believe that my time is best spent simply doing regiment? That is my forced commitment to the country and I should simply leave it at that.