Just like any soldier, very evident to Pi is his portrayal of the standards of loyalty, competence, ethics and morals. Pi has a high standard of loyalty. Pi expressed in words and in deeds his strong support to his family especially to his father. He knew that his father as the head of the family has the authority to lead the family. Even though it is against his will to sail to the Pacific and leave India, he knew who has authority and who demands obedience. There is competence as Pi possesses the knowledge, skills, physical attributes and character traits that are necessary in order to survive.
From childhood, his quest for information, logic and eagerness to know how things should be done harnessed his whole being through the years. Pi has ethics. He knew how to observe and conform to the accepted principles of right conduct being part of not just his family, but also his family as part of the whole community. His ethics governed his behavior towards the tiger even in a most undesirable situation of being cast away. He is honest, just, truthful and very much concerned about the things that surround him. What differs Pi, from the tiger named Richard Parker, is his being a rational being.
It means Pi has morals because of his discernment from knowing what is right from wrong. His transparency in his acts and openness with his feelings dictated his morals and his morals defined him as a person. On AFP Core Values/Philosophy/Creed At the end of the story, Pi’s total character is revealed. For one who strived to survive, it was inevitable for him to have lived with the same Core Values of a soldier. These values are the love of country, honor, loyalty, valor, duty, and solidarity. His love of country becomes evident with the way he talked about India.
He even argued with his father about leaving India when Christopher Columbus sailed the Pacific to find India. He also talked about the cultures and traditions of India with pride and respect. It is respect in the sense that though some traditions and customs (for him) are questionable, he respects it anyway. His honor is equated with his integrity. Growing up in a family who valued honor, with great reputation and credibility, it became easy for him to aspire to live a decent life. His loyalty was displayed when he acknowledged who the ‘boss’ is or who should demand his obedience.
This loyalty enhanced his dedication to establish communication with the tiger. It was tedious and difficult but Pi never stopped trying. So when he won the cooperation of tiger he then showed his sincere concern for the well being of that ‘Richard Parker’. Taming Richard Parker and surviving alone in the Pacific for 221 days is seemingly impossible, but for Pi, he was able to survive. There is valor because he had the ability to overcome his fears and he endured all kinds of pain and hardship just to accomplish his bold will to survive.
But what is more glaring is the spiritual side of valor that is shown by his composure, calmness and presence of mind. Even in times of danger, he tried and fought so hard not to be taken by surprise. Despite the difficult moments and the danger of storms, Pi’s values, obedience and discipline remained intact. He took it as a responsibility to survive, so he can take care of Richard Parker. He rendered service by hunting for food and saving rain water to keep the tiger alive. That willingness to sacrifice for others even if it means giving up his life in the process was not just simply courage, but being true to his duty as well.
Lastly, solidarity is not just about being bound together. It is also the sustainment of that bind, considering the presence of the one who leads and the ones being led. In the movie, sometimes the tiger is the leader because he has the control over the situation, and sometimes it is Pi. The leadership that is within defines their solidarity. Thoughts on Correlation There is a saying that, [ii]“From a pure heart, anything can be accomplished. If you ask what the universe is doing, it is eavesdropping on your every desire”.
The difference between a civilian and a citizen is that a citizen has the courage to make the safety of his community a personal responsibility. Pi, is not just an ordinary civilian, he is a citizen. As to the difference between a citizen and a soldier, it is more of a question of understanding how the individual's heart, intent and focus are aligned. If one will look into the verbs used in the roles of Army Core Values, it is “as protectors of…, guardians of…, and dynamic proponents for development…”. These contexts are all geared towards doing good for others.
May it be a soldier or a warrior, a civilian or a citizen, as individuals, the values, creeds and philosophies are applicable to everyone. In everyday life, it all depends on where a person learns these values from, how he enhances them, when to apply them, why he exercises them and to whom are they for. But these values are always best use for the protection of what he or she finds important and worth protecting. [iii] “Ethical conduct is not just about uniforms. It is about taking personal responsibility. ” ----------------------- [i] Alexander Graham Bell [ii] Deepak Chopra [iii] Anonymous