Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Our Fortressed Education

For me, the ideal goal of “education” is to create minds that will build the community (or at least not burden it). When I say ideal, I truly hope that one day, it can be more than just a jargon. The prosperity and downfall of a community depends on the quality of its scholars. And the quality of a community’s scholars depends on the education they undergo. Wouldn’t it be nice if a community had bright scholars that are committed and focused on its development? But how can a scholar focus on building his community if he doesn’t know, doesn’t understand, and doesn’t feel connected to it?

The educational system in Indonesia (formal and informal) isolates the scholars from its community. It acts like a fortress that separates the so-called “intellectuals” and the so-called “people”. Once the “intellectuals” go back to the community, they are placed in places that are somewhat isolated from the “people”, where they gather with their same kind, thus forming a golden cage, which they enjoy by themselves. The “people” on the other hand, do not receive any benefit from the “intellectuals”, which they actually supported to flourish (indirectly).

Trapped by their state of mind, the “intellectuals” are then ignorant and have no significant role in the community’s development, which in turn makes the community stagnant (or even worse, degenerate), which might possibly be happening in Indonesia right now…

Let’s find the key to release our fear and ignorance, and let us regain our strength and courage to do what we think is right.

Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that many of Indonesia’s scholars have found that this mind cage does really exist, and are in the middle of finding the key to unlock it. I hope we can all contribute towards a better future for the people who need it (in any way possible).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Welcome My Son!!

Finally, after a fierce struggle of life and death, my wife gave birth to our beloved son. Welcome to this colorful yet challenging world“Saifan Seigi Ragamustari”!
I can’t say I have ever felt this happy, exited, and scared before.

We hope you grow up to be a good, kind, and strong person, and close to Allah nevertheless. And may Allah give my wife and me the power and strength to be good parents in every way.

He was born on the 14th of January 2007, 11.04 Japan time in Uji byouin (uji hospital), Uji, Kyoto, Japan. His birth weight was 2.922 kg, with a length of 48 cm.

Saifan and Mommy

Thank you Allah our dear lord. For giving us happiness and blessing through out our entire lives (Even though we tend to forget the good things and remember the bad things, lets stop doing that). Please pray for us my dear friends.

Once again, Welcome my son!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The death of young potency

Being a youngster in a community isn’t always an advantage, especially in Indonesia. Sure, you get to be guided, taught, and somehow given less responsibility. But you sometimes do not get the respect and the acknowledgment you deserve. Older people tend to have delusions of grandeur that they are more experienced, smarter, stronger and wiser, and therefore deserve to have more respect than their younger counterparts. It seems like the younger you get, the less respect you get.

No respect means non-equal opportunities, and it is indeed a character killer. You are disregarded of your opinions, your ideas, your arguments, and abilities. Even though yours might be better.

Most Indonesians experience this at a very young age, where the older person is the teacher. Yes, at school. Teachers are never wrong. They are always right even though they are wrong. You aren’t supposed to draw a car jumping off a cliff, spiderman, a clown, etc. You are supposed to draw two mountain peaks, a road in the middle, and some paddy fields (the typical drawing of an indonesian youngster). You aren’t supposed to challenge your teacher’s ideas, if you don’t want to get bad grades. Don’t get me wrong. I respect my teachers. I am who I am partly because of them. But frankly, what teachers are doing nowadays is character killing, and what’s worse is that it’s contagious, and passed on to the next generation. It makes people blunt, dependent, scared (to express ideas) and uncreative. We need a way of teaching that “guides” yet not dominates.

This kind of “age superiority” is apparent in almost every aspect of an Indonesian’s life. In the politics, in the university, in business, and almost in everything else. The only thing that overcomes the dominancy of age, in most cases, is money (I guess).

By inhibiting growth and expansion of young, fresh, and not yet corrupted minds, the potency it has is slowly degraded. And the death of a nations young mind is death to the nation itself. This might explain why Indonesia is so fragile.

Let's become their guide and their inspiration

Nevertheless, what good can we do rather than by starting with ourselves. May we be among the people who respect their young, yet become their guide and their inspiration. (Gee, how will I be when I get old? Like I’m not old already :D)