Hero Worshipping And National Service

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By: B Goode

All superheroes have their own humanly backstories. Batman and his murdered parents, Superman and his destroyed planet, Spiderman and his puppy love, Wonderwoman and her lack of manlove.

Joseph Schooling and his hormones:

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But that’s what makes them believable and more likeable. And that is also why many of us find it hard to believe in the biggest superhero of them all, God. Because going all omnipotent and supersaiyan on mere mortals like us is something that our minds simply cannot comprehend. If only God has a sad backstory….

In a country that for years has been yearning for a hero, Joseph Schooling has suddenly been hoisted up into the hallowed halls of Varhalla to sit amongst the residents.

Understandably, there have been calls for a public holiday (annually mind you) to honour his achievement. Calls for a street, school and whathaveyou to be named after him. He has been summoned by Parliament to listen abashedly I’d imagine, amongst the gathered estate managers as the government try to take credit for his achievement and turn it into a political proclamation somewhat.

As if a million dollars is not enough.

And I pray to Zeus that they don’t find a kryptonite in his blood samples.

So what’s the big deal about Aquaman serving or not serving National Service?

Truth be told, it IS a big deal.

National Service (NS) is Singapore’s sacred cow. It has been so infused within our national psyche that it is no longer just a mandatory vocation for 18-yr old males to serve to defend the country. It has become an ideology.

So NS is more than just arming ourselves with rifles, or revolvers or power drills. It has got a lot to do with national unity and cohesion because what’s the point of defending a fractured nation?

Therefore in this regard, Joseph Schooling has done and is doing his National Service because almost overnight, he has managed to galvanize the whole nation into one.

But should he be exempted from NS or his NS be deferred a second time?

People have been exempted/deferred from NS for lesser reasons.

But my take on this is to allow him to defer his NS for as long as he continues to be a galvanising force, or to consider his achievement as already serving his NS and he can then serve his reservist giving motivational talks in schools and being a role model for our youths. In short, being a national hero.

But to totally exempt him from NS? No.

Because at the end of the day, even Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne have to pay taxes.

 

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