Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Obama Wins, Yeay - A Blog Post Not About Obama

Despite the sarcasm of the title, personally I am thrilled that Americans went out and voted for significant change, busting through layers of apathy and complacency. It will be an interesting 4 years ahead for the US, and I do think he's the right man for the job.

But how does it affect us, I ask again?

Reading through Obama's victory speech, it seemed to me that the general problems afflicting the US are almost the same around the world, including Indonesia. But how do we deal with it?

A lot of us take for granted - young and old - that Indonesia was founded with the blood and tears of the 1945 generation. We did not have it handed to us on a gold platter, we did not inherit just about anything from our former colonizers, save for a few buildings, but we pushed on and kept it real, and now, 60 plus years later, Indonesia is the country with the world's largest Muslim population but uniquely not a Muslim state (and will stay that way if I can help it), the largest producer of various produce in the world, and many other things that we should be proud of but I do not know because of my ignorance.

Referring back to the speech - I realise that many things that Obama tries to rouse in the average American, seems fitting to be roused in your average Indonesian as well. It's about time for Indonesia to feel a new wave of patriotism - ask yourself, do you love your country? I think many would say, the country has done nothing for you but make life harder. Shall I remind you of JFK's favorite quote is?

Do we even remember our country's history? Did you know that the Republic of Indonesia only received international recognition in 1949, and not after the Proclamation of Independence? So after 1945, we still had to fight for 4 long years, fighting off the Dutch and various insurgent groups until we were truly a sovereign nation.

We are all so engulfed with our daily lives, problems, bills, enemies, sinetrons - that we forgot why it is all for. Our politicians are so concerned with pornography that they do not think about welfare. Political parties sprout up right and left, differing ever so slightly in ideologies - and in egos, as well - while the average man on the street can't even tell them apart and doesn't care. And then there's people like me who just babble on and on via blogs and other chatter, but do not do anything about it. The bus driver who breaks traffic laws here and there, because he just doesn't give a damn - nobody else does, and we have no hope of it changing. 

We have become a nation of complaining and apathy. 

Ask yourself again, do you care? I think I care. And I want to do something about it beyond just blogging about it. I urge every one of you - whoever reads this blog - to write something on their blog about nationalism, patriotism, Indonesia, or... well, you get the idea. Make our voices heard - if not through the ballot box, then at least let it be through the internet. Find out who you should vote for president next year - I know who I'm voting for, and the campaign hasn't really started yet.

The US is lucky to find one person in Barack Obama that seems to inspire millions - I really think Indonesia lacks this one figure. But that shouldn't stop change in Indonesia, should it? If each and every one of us just starts caring, and throw away the apathy that held tight to us all these years, I am sure we can make our own change. 

Forget caring about the politics - we still have a few months until we really have to vote. But start caring about each other. Really. It sounds simple but is, in fact, difficult. Difficult for those of us born in a time where events speed by, money is always less than you need, and the more aggresive of us just simply push for advantage whatever the cost - like the melamin-laced milk in China. 

Would melamin found in milk ever be found if the factories producing it cared more for people's well being, instead of profits? What about the people who cooked stale meat and sold it? Oh, how about those fake eggs made from chemicals? And here's the kicker - what about the people who skimmed off other people's money to buy their 4th house?

Now, do you know how a simple smile from a stranger can help somebody's day? How being nice and curteous can affect people positively? How thinking about we can help you along much faster than thinking about me? And it doesn't stop with people - declining to use the plastic bag every now and then to purchase something small, which can actually fit in your bag, can make a big difference; as long as enough people do it all over the years. If you like shoes, make sure your older, never-worn-again shoes go to some charity, or even your housemaid. 

I CARE! I care because I believe every word I write while writing this blog post. I am hoping I am not in the minority here. I care enough to write something about it, which you should be feeling too. I know I'm not alone, but so many of us are born into apathy - come on, let's go, let's kill that fucker together.

Let's override the self-interested jerks ruling the politics and make our own voice - for knowing a problem is the first step to overcome it. Look at the big picture guys! I really think pornography is the least of our problems - we know it, so let's do something about it. 

I don't want to talk anymore about the stupid porn bill; let's leave it at that. The bill itself demonstrates how out of touch the people who claim to be our representatives are, with actual reality. We know what reality is - at the least, we know what reality is for us and the people around us, so let's just work on that area. We're not highly-funded political people so let's start small. It will be enough, let's not go over our heads. Care more for those around you, and with time, effort, and 200 million people later, our country will be better, with or without ridiculous politics. But it starts with you.

Believe me, the more you write about this the more liberated you feel, so I encourage you to start writing, now! 

We have to fight our own apathy. NOW. We have to start to CARE.

Yes, we can. And yes, we care.


  1. Firstly, very nice write up. I'll make sure to post it for other people to read.

    Despite being a foreigner in Indonesia, I sometimes feel that I am more patriotic than most Indonesians. I cannot believe how most people can turn "blind eyes" to so many problems happening in front of our eyes, especially things regarding the government and politics.

    So many laws are talked about for years, even though they have no importance in building the country. Then again, the representatives get paid for every seating they do in parliament and that's only their official attendance wage.

    Well, I could ramble on.. but as you suggest, I should start blogging to raise awareness.. maybe..

    Just one more fact I would like to add:

    Indonesia has one of the highest budgets in the world for freeway construction per kilometer..

    "Tanya kenapa?"



  2. Hi Mark, thanks for the comments. It seems that everybody has small tidbits of information about how corrupt Indonesia is today, and how nothing is changing - let's put a stop to it!

  3. nice writing, jo. i like your thinking. i'm witcha. tapi lagi males nulis ginian di blog gw. well I do write about this kinda stuff now and then, just not this moment i dont feel like doing it. i love your positivity :) i'm sick of people's cynical thoughts about changes and hopes. i hope the light of positivity shine on them soon. it'll make a better world, i'm sure.