The One Thing We Don’t Have
Posted August 8, 2008on:
This article was published by The Jakarta Post on August 21, 2008. Read the article on The Jakarta Post, here.
I believe that every relationship requires at least three elements in order to succeed. Those three elements are love, trust, and communication.
Imagine if one of those three is missing in a relationship, let’s say, of a husband and a wife. They may have love and trust but without enough communication their future will be in jeopardy since they can’t express their feelings to each other.
The existence of love and trust is even more crucial. Without love how would you be able to give out the best that you have to someone or something? And without trust, love will be useless and tasteless.
Now, as citizens of this beautiful country Indonesia it may sound weird that we also need those three elements in order to make it better. I think it’s true and it’s something that the government should pay attention to if they want its people, especially the young ones, to achieve greater things in life.
I believe we all do have love for this country. We love Indonesia, don’t we? As our President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono loves his Javanese heritage, we all love where we are from. I’m proud, for example, of my origin which combines four different cultures: Java, Sunda, West Sumatera, and Riau. People from Batak are so proud of their culture and tradition, wherever they might be without any hesitation they will announce to others where they are from. And they will give you a big smile when you say, “Horas!” Even my Chinese Indonesian friends are proud of how much Indonesian they are.
Although some may complain the level of love for our country is decreasing especially among the young generation but it’s a fact that young Indonesians in Java and other provinces still speak their traditional languages proudly. And when Malaysia “insulted” us by claiming that batik and rasa sayange were theirs we stood together bravely and proudly as one nation. Now it’s good news that batik is a trend among women both young and old. So, I believe love is still there.
Second, it’s such a relief to say that we are the best in Southeast Asia when it comes to freedom of speech. Since the ’98 tragedy we Indonesians have been having this privilege that no other people in Southeast Asia can enjoy. We can say anything about anything without being afraid that the government will arrest us. We can easily criticize our government on the newspapers, magazines, or TV shows.
The fact is Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world. Our system of democracy may not be perfect but everyone should agree that creating a good democratic system takes time. The United States needed more than 200 years to be able to have the kind of democratic system that they have right now. We’re still learning and I think we’re learning quite well.
We have the love and we communicate, what we don’t have is trust. We don’t trust our government, we don’t trust our parliament members, we don’t trust our police, we don’t trust our judges and prosecutors, we don’t even trust other people, and we just don’t trust the whole system.
We believe all government officials are corrupt. When we see a big house owned by a pejabat without a hesitation we’ll say, “No wonder you have a nice house.”
What our officials should understand is that without trust we don’t contribute. Without trust we don’t act effectively as part of the society in this country. How could the government expect us to be good citizens when at the same time we don’t believe that they do good things to us?
How could the government expect us not to corrupt when at the same time we believe they all corrupt and use people’s money for their own pleasure?
It’s unquestionable that gaining the public trust should be the number one priority for the current government and other politicians who want to win people’s hearts in 2009 election: Because we are tired of promises without realization.
Gaining the public trust is so crucial because there’s a limit for everything. If our officials still don’t have a clue in how to make us believe, I fear, the love will be gone and we don’t want to talk anymore. Let’s avoid that from happening.
Picture is taken from here.