My supervisor at work yesterday brought up the topic of hazing. We were talking about Greek life in college and how the college was when he attended here 10 years ago. He is an admissions counselor now. In a nutshell, one of the big fraternities on campus had a fairly public hazing, in where the pledges carry a couch over their head filled with either kegs or bottles of beer and walked 20-30 miles around our city. Filled with beer, the pledges would drink and carry the couch over their head, and the active members would drink as well. When they arrived back, they were obviously drunk but due to this shared common experience that every pledge went through, be it the president to the newest freshmen, they had the same experience and it bonded them together. It was arguable that these individuals would take a bullet for each other because of how close they were due to that experience. This is a big nutshell but our supervisor ended with, "Hazing is a good thing. It binds people together with a shared experience. It is when it is stupid and taken out of consideration with the ability of the person that bad things happen, and people get hurt." Now onto martial arts. I immediately thought back to my black belt testing, and my experience. My testing was hard, and I was pushed to my limits to see my true colors, who I really was, as a person and a martial artist. Also it gave a common experience with the past black belts and the future black belts that we could relate. My supervisor also referred to boot camp as a "hazing." One of my coworkers is in the National Guard and he agreed with my supervisor that, though it wasn't a sterotypical hazing with all the negative connotations, it gave him a common experience with past, present and future military. My coworker accepts that his bond those who went though boot camp, and especially those he went to boot camp with, is a strong bond that is hard to break because of that common experience. Nobody can understand what boot camp is unless they've experienced it themselves. Back to the black belt testing, I kind of agreed with that notion because that nobody really understands what we went through to get our black belts because they didn't go through it. They can have a idea, they can also possibly try to recreate it, but that doesn't mean it is the same. Now the question, what do you guys think? Is this comparison correct or atleast agree with some notions of it? Or if you wholeheartedly disagree with it? Just food for thought. Call me crazy but it makes sense in my opinion, though his word choice of "hazing" may be a little off putting. The essence of what he meant to say, I agree with. A shared experience, though embarrassing/abusive/ridiculing, helps bind people together pretty tightly.