Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Creator of War

Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon in a discussion forum of “Religion Creates War”. The idea of the discussion came from these thought “many years ago a lot of religion's and people have created wars and has affected many things like free-will, freedom and peace” according to James V.

The discussion itself were interesting since people from different background, different religion, at the end divided into two sides, people sides and religion sides.

How about me ? I’m the one who believes that the creator of war is People not the Religion.

If we were looking into the history of Crusade War, it started because of the ego of the Pope who has the highest authority to expand his power, in the name of deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny.

That was war between Christian people and Moslem, but there are many wars in the name of religion outside there, war within the same religion, in the name of fighting for the truth, based on the highest authority perception, highest authority which is a human not a prophet.

Somebody replied to me in the discussion, he asked me, if I said that the creator of religion were people and not God than who creates the religion ? It’s people, who create religion, who create God.

Well, am not an expert of religion, my understanding is as simple as an elementary kid learns how to count.

But my stand point came from these issues, which happened in Indonesia lately :

I read at Anita’s blog several weeks ago, where she pointed out the news that she read in Indonesia Matters “Jewish Conspiracy”, about the statement of one of Indonesian Moslem Cleric’s Council (MUI) Buya Mas’oed Abidin, regarding Valentine’s Day. Buya Mas’oed urged Moslem people to stop celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is part of capitalist-Jewish conspiracy.

On the other hand there’s another issue which came from The Alliance of Christian Students and Youths (AMPK) when they reported Tempo magazine (Indonesian version) to the police because of using Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” painting to imitate our late former president Soeharto’s family as Tempo’s main cover.

Both of the above issues for sure invited a lot of comment, from both side, pro versus contra, good versus bad, were at the end could lead to a negative perception of the religion.

Both of the above issue could lead protester to fight for their beliefs, and to fight for their beliefs, automatically they will use their “religion” as the foundation to support their belief.

And as we all know, if we would like to bring religion into discussion table, it needs an open mind and understanding for both party that there’s always room for differentiation.

Until the end of day of this world, there’s always some part that never be the same. No matter hard we try to understand, the difference always stands there.

Therefore, if we always use our ego in the name of religion, I believe that we plant a seed of war. And when two parties fight, because of the ego, can we blame the religion as the creator of war ?

The answer is we can not. Religion already there since centuries ago. The entire holy book, Bible, Quran, Gita and Veda, still says the same thing until now. What Jesus said or Mohammad Said or Krishna said, still the same, the words, the coma, exactly the same like when the first time people read that holy book.

The changes were the people who read that holy book, because they have their own understanding, their own interpretation, their own hidden agenda and their own ambition, especially for them who have hidden agenda.

God create human being with all the brain but it doesn’t mean that religion was created by people and it doesn’t mean those religions that create the war.

God give people the knowledge, the capability to understand that the experience with God, is different form one to another and how to applicable their religion or belief in this world.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Can People Change ?

Angie Gennaro : People never change
from Gone Baby Gone movie

This is a story of two private detective, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, whose been hired to find a four years old missing girl by the girl’s auntie when the police had difficulties to find the kidnapper. During their searching they have to work hand in hand with two senior police detective and Capt Jack Doyle, whose daughter had been kidnapped and killed by the kidnapper.

At first Angie Gennaro refused to take the case, especially when they don’t have the experience of handing kidnapping case, but when Angie Gennaro looked at the girl’s picture, both of them take the case, to find the missing girl, even though it will ultimately risk everything, their lives, their relationship and their sanity.

But, what is the connection between finding a missing girl and risk their relationship ?

The answer was at the end of the story, when Patrick Kenzie has to dealt with difficult situation, return the missing girl to her own mother or leave that girl with Capt. Jack Doyle family, which will take care of that missing girl where even the missing girl own mother could not do that.

Capt. Jack Doyle :
Thought you would’ve done that by now. You know why you haven’t ? Because you think this might be an irreparable mistake. Because deep inside you, you know it doesn’t matter what the rules say. When the lights go out, and you ask yourself “is she better off here or better off there”, you know the answer. And you always will. You could do a right thing here. A good thing. Men live their whole lives without getting this chance. You walk away from it, you may not regret it when you get home. You may not regret it for a year, but when you get to where I am, I promise you, you will. I’ll be dead, you’ll be old. But she ..she’ll be dragging around couple of tattered, damaged children of her own and you’ll be the one who has to tell them you’re sorry.

Patrick Kenzie :
You know what ? Maybe that’ll happen. And if it does, I’ll tell them I’m sorry and I’ll live with it. But what’s never gonna happen and what I’m not gonna do is have to apologize to a grown woman who comes to me and says: “I was kidnapped when I was a little girl, and my aunt hired you to find me. And you did, you found me with some strange family. But you broke your promise and you left me there. Why ? Why didn’t you bring me home ? Because all the snacks and the outfits and the family trips don’t matter. They stole me. It wasn’t my family and you knew about it and you knew better and you did nothing.” And maybe that grown woman will forgive me, but I’ll never forgive myself.

…. Well, both sides have their own truth part, like two side of the coin, the answer of the decision lie on your value in life and your beliefs in people.

In this story, the mother was an addict, never give a damn to her daughter; even she can not take care of her own life.

So, if you were on Patrick Kenzie’s side, which side that you’ll be in ? The opposite or the same side ? Tough decision, isn’t it ?

The clue, actually came from Angie, “People never change” …the statement that still hanging around like bee in my head up to now.

Can people change ? I ask this question several times and still can’t find the answer. If yes, then how long ? In what condition ? For the rest of that person’s life ?

I have seen people change but I also have seen the other way, where people stumble upon the same mistake, no matter how hard they try…

Therefore, I can’t give the answer whether I should return the missing girl to her own mother or just leave that missing girl with her new family. One thing that I know, once I found the truth, I can’t buried it like I never knew it. The truth is still the truth, so it’s my obligation to spread the truth even though it will risk my relationship, my life.

It’s all about our value in life …

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Toilet versus Slovenly

There’s an article in Kompas of how certain people in Indonesia were put their attention in toilet environment, public or individual.

Naning Adiwoso, Chairman and Founder of the Indonesia Toilet Operators Association, stated that the toilet could reflect the culture of the country. Compare to other Asian country, Indonesia were still left behind, even though there’s an improvement in certain Public Toilet. She also pointed out of the disease from bacterial in squat toilet were higher compare to sit-down toilet.

The interesting part of her comment was the cleanness toilet in Beringharjo traditional market in Jogja, Central Java, Indonesia. It was located in the traditional market and yet the toilet was clean.

Phew, culture and toilet …; I’m hundred percent agree, but does it mean that we are slovenly nation just because of dirty toilet ?

There’s a whole nature vs nurture debate (copying my blogger friend comment, gj) if we would like to discuss the connection between slovenly nation and dirty toilet.

I completely agree that there’s a connection between culture and the way people use the toilet. Asian people, in their culture, they know squat toilet first before they interact with sit-down toilet. Therefore, when they interact with sit-down toilet, they feel uncomfortable or the worst part, they copied the way they use squat toilet, in the name of “cleanness”.

The other reasons also the concept of “dryness” toilet. In western country, the way western people take a bath were different than Asian. The concept of Asian bathroom, do not recognize bathtub or shower, therefore there is no “dry” area in Asian bathroom, different with western.

So, when Asian people have to wash their genitals after urinating, it is difficult for them to use a toilet paper. Asian people will back to their culture like the dryness bathroom. Toilet paper versus water, it’s like our campaign of “Green World”.

Go to China, and you would see the difference. Their airport in Nanjing do not have sit-down toilet only in the Hotel. In their office, don’t ever dream that you would find sit-down toilet.

I bet, for people who always sit-down toilet, every time they have to urinate it’s really a nightmare.

In Indonesia, if you go to small city, especially in the airport, there are two choices, sit-down toilet and squat toilet.

Back to the issue, cleanness toilet versus slovenly nation, I have to say that it depends on the person itself not the nation, because even in Europe, their public toilet not always clean, there’s still smelly toilet.

Therefore, I must say, yes there’s a connection between culture and the toilet, since cleanness depends on the person itself. Government can only push people to understand the concept of cleanness.

If we would like to start it at the airport, then like other Asian country, we have to put the cleaning service there, monitor the work of the cleaning service and not pretend that the cleaning service already clean the public area, the toilet area. Manage the amenities of public toilet, like toilet paper and hand soap. That is how we start the concept of cleanness and dryness toilet.

Last night I went to Shell toilet, and to my surprise the toilet was clean. They use the concept of sit-down toilet. Compare to our public toilet area, the scale is ten versus one. Shell toilet was cleanest compare to our beloved Soekarno-Hatta airport.

I have traveled to every city, in every condition, used different public toilet in different occasion, sometimes I have to used people’s toilet, and to my surprises also, in the village, I could find descent and cleanness toilet.

Can’t say a culture or even the nation, the right way to say is the People. In public area, have to say the Government.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

80/20 Rule in Life

I bet that everybody know the 80/20 rule, the Pareto rule, the distributions law, where the twenty percent give the contribution to eighty percent.

But, if it comes to marriage life, or life, can we use that Pareto rule ?

Last night, I watched a movie, the romantic comedy movie, “Why did I get married ?”. It’s the story of four married couples where the husbands kept their secret by themselves and only share the secret to the buddy husband gang.

One of the husband had an affair secret, he didn’t tell his wives about his affair (silly, if he told his wives then it would not be a secret anymore) but he shared this secret to his buddy husband gang.

As we all know, buddy can drop us any comment, good or bad, agree or disagree, fact or fake, and we just take it like we take a food, spit it out if the taste is awful or just swallow it if the taste match.

In the affair case, two of his buddy did not buy his reason of having an affair and one of them give him this advice :

Do you know the 80/20 rule ? In most cases, in marriage you are only going to get eighty percent of what you need. That’s it. No more, no less.
Most time eighty percent.
Now here comes this woman offering twenty percent.
Now twenty percent looks real good when you are not getting it.
But the problem is you are going to leave the eighty percent and thinking you were getting something better, and you end up with twenty percent.

What an up-side-down of the Pareto rule, isn’t it ?

Actually it’s not. We should see it from the opposite way. The twenty that we are not have it, the twenty that we thought that will make our life sparkling, actually will cause eighty percent of disaster in our life; especially if it affects the most important things in every human being value, LOVE.

I have to say that Pareto rule actually it’s not just a theory of distribution, or even economic rule, it’s a rule which we could apply in every part of our life.

In life, as a working-mom, I don’t have the luxurious to spend time with my family especially with my daughters; I only have week-end, the twenty percent. And as far as I know, the twenty percent, were the day my family waiting for, the day where we could get together and cheer the future eighty.

Marriage life and Pareto rule ? Yes … like the movie said …

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don't break it
Love was made for me and you

Monday, February 11, 2008

Live like a Child

You gotta dance like nobody's watching, dream like you will live forever,
live like you're going to die tomorrow
and love like it's never going to hurt.
by Meme Grifsters

Inspiring quote ? Yes, indeed.

Have you ever had a quote that brightens your day ? or make you stop thinking for a while and back to your nutshell ?

This is one of the quote that make me stop for a while and imagining the new day that have been given to me, the new day not yesterday nor tomorrow.

Why it is so difficult to remember that we only live for today, not yesterday nor tomorrow ? And why it is so difficult to dance and dream and love like a child ?

Is it because of God’s curse to Adam and Eve ?

The more we know the more afraid we are, the more I see everything the more I see things differently.

A child’s eye was pure because they only see the beauty, the funny things and the most important they only know the unconditional love …

If one day I could live like that … my wish.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Indonesian and Stereo-type

This is a true story of Indonesian stereo-type in the eyes of the tourist.

Last Saturday, when I was in Ngurah Rai International Airport, waiting for my husband, I took my lunch at one of the canteen in the airport. There are several canteens but I choose the descent one, where there are two foreigners – or tourist, if I may say so – spent their time.

I spotted that both of them ordered a glass of juice, while me, because of the screaming in my stomach, ordered one fresh orange juice and one fried rice, the common menu in the airport. I didn’t ask for the price because I knew that the price must be higher than usual price.

I was in the middle of watching people by while eating my lunch when one of the women paid her bill and suddenly I realized that the waiter difficult to express his disagreement in English. That lady felt being robbed because of the price of the juice, which way too high for the normal juice price; IDR 20k compare to the normal one IDR 10k.

She thought that it was the price for the tourist while for me, local people, the price must be lower than her.

So I checked with the waiter, and he gave me the same price also. No difference.

Because I was appointed as their interpreter, I told her that I have the same price. She still disbelieved.

Short story, she paid with disappointment.

But not more than 5 minutes, she back again and asked the waiter to return her money. She told me that according to the local guy, the price should be half than that.

And suddenly I felt pity to the waiter, he is not the owner. This time I have to stand for the waiter, so I told the lady that he is not the owner, the price was too high but every shop has their own standard of price. I knew the price was too high but I paid the same amount like her.

Her final word, “I didn’t believe you. This will affect your country. You should felt ashamed of this kind of treatment.”

I just looked at her into the eyes and said, “Whatever, but I paid the same price as you.”

I’ve been in her country where the price of a mineral water was different between one another but I accepted it.

But what bothered me was her thought of Indonesian people, that we were so poor, that if we have a chance to rob the foreigner, even for the small things, Indonesian will do so. What a shame !

Does it happen only in third world or Asian country ? Maybe. But as far as I know, based on my experience when I was in China, India, Bangkok, Hongkong even Singapore, I have to bargain.

What about Europe ? I didn’t do the bargain, but every shop has their own price. Therefore I have to find a shop which has lower price than others.

In other words, every people in every country do the same things. What makes the difference is the impression, the perception that goes from mouth to mouth, that if you come to third world country; you have to be careful because the local people may think that you are rich.

Like the other tourist said when he would like to change his ticket in Ngurah Rai Airport Bali, “I’m not rich, I’m poor.”

Then I heard somebody said, “If you were poor then you could not come to Indonesia.”

Well, back to the stereo type, I think I have to blame our people. Realized it or not, it’s us who make that kind of stereo type by telling our friend, the foreigner, that they have to bargain, because the seller know that they are foreigner so they will charge them higher price than normal price.