Sunday, April 22, 2018

Quote #41

"Being gullible is bad. Being cognizant of the fact that you are gullible, but still carrying on is worse. Incorrigibly and violently persisting with your gullibility is the worst." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Monday, April 16, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Quote #39

"I can accept ignorance – everyone is born ignorant after all. But I can't accept denial of truth." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Quote #37

"The fear of knowledge and understanding is pitiful for ignorance is one of the most degrading qualities humans can possibly have." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A Morning with Grab

Let me recount a short story of today's happenings in my life.

A job meeting was due this morning in the headquarters of one of the most famous English institutions in Indonesia, which lies in a mostly still unoccupied area in Serpong, Tangerang Province. I got up at around 7:15, dragged myself into the bathroom, and wiped away the dust, germs, and that kind of things that clung to my body with a dose of cool/cold H2O and my set of toiletries. After everything was settled, I dashed to a warteg (food stall that provides dishes from Tegal – although I'm not sure if what it sells is only that) to fill my stomach with what would turn into streams of energy for the day. Having chowed down on my breakfast and paid, it was time to get to Mangga Besar Station ("mangga besar" means "big mango(es)", if you are curious) – with Grab.

It was around 8 o'clock. I placed an order and got a driver right away. After a while, he asked me to cancel the order because, he said, the system was erroneous – the fare was lower than supposed to be or that sort of thing. He also added, in a begging and/or angry tone, that he had a wife and/or child(ren) to feed! (Grab drivers have to face a penalty or a sort if they cancel an order) I refused to do it and gave him the reason that it is harder for me to get bookings if I make many cancelations – which is true, or at least it is what is stated by the company itself. I insisted that it was him who had to cancel the order. Additionally, I told him off for doing such a disgraceful act, which was digging his heels in and forcing me to squander my precious, will-never-be-back few minutes of my life. I have to attend a job interview, what if I am late? Don't be egotistical. That's more or less what I uttered in order to school this one individual of the smartest ape species.

It turns out his obstinacy ruled and, quite surprisingly, he came up to me in a threatening manner and protested about my reasonable steam-blowing. He also insisted that there would be no problem if I made a cancelation. With incredulity, I decided to follow what he had said, and then, during the process, a window popped up, displaying an English sentence which meant it takes more time to get bookings for customers who make cancelations – as I had told him before. I tried to translate it into Indonesian (because I believe he doesn't know English), but he seemed not to care about it. And then basically, after a complex string of chemical reactions in my brain, I took the decision to cancel it. Oh! He also said that he was a person living/from there, as if alluding to his power with which to do whatever he wanted to do to me.

Yeah, I could have been involved in a fight with him but it would have been an unwise decision. I knew that my life could be devoted to a much more noble matter and physical pain that could have been inflicted on me would have been much of a hurdle in achieving countless valuable things ahead. (Again) the truth had to lose. There is this probably Indonesian phrase: "surrender to win", and I think it aptly describes my decision. Stupidities are everywhere and that we are surrounded by them is a reality. It is a "sad" truth in life; we would really love it to be otherwise but it's not. Let's just take the bull by the horns, but intelligently and elegantly, by accentuating our life goals in our minds. I hope this experience can also be, in a sense, a good example of human adaptation in the world as well.
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Monday, February 26, 2018

The Poignant Tale of a Single Woman

I've had the urge to write an article on this topic for quite long, yet my conversation with a former student yesterday strongly and ultimately galvanized me to really make this happen.

Her name is, say, Rose (her real name is kept clandestine for privacy reasons). We were chatting via a very popular app which sounds like "What's up?" and after a while our discussion topic shifted to that which the chemicals in your brain would make an impression of when you hear Valentine's Day or Twilight.

However, instead of gentle caressing, warm hugs, or affectionate kisses, she told me a sort of appalling reality she had had to face. This is what she said in a gloomy tone (hope it won't make you cringe):

"We live in a world that is really evil to women. I am frustrated with the questions "When are you getting married?", "When will you follow (put a person's name here)?", etc. And when I didn't say anything, they wanted to introduce me to a guy.. It's like wtf?? Really exhausted."

I was joking; if you have a puckered face now, you are forgiven. Rose is actually single in the sense that she has a boyfriend but not married yet, but there are many people (men included) out there who are single in the more commonly referred-to sense – not possessing a partner – and are constantly, at any time, complaining for receiving such irksome treatment. This unfortunate social phenomenon is, I believe, alarmingly ubiquitous. On social media, it is not hard to find posts and comments containing related mockery (comedy Facebook pages Sarcasm and Be Like Bro are perfect exemplars of those making fun of single people in the latter sense).

The matter regarding one's relationship or marital status is truly, and in essence, none of others', even their parents', business. Sadly and depressingly, there is this widely held misconception that it is all right for other people to meddle. I kind of can symphatize with those people who want to cradle a grandchild as soon as possible, yet they must keep in mind that whether or not to have children is fully the decision of the would-be biological mother and father themselves. People hold the very right to choose when they will get married etc., and they should be free of such "terrorizing" words as what Rose got.

Getting married is not a race, as I said to Rose. Would parents want their child to choose the wrong person as their partner for the sake of face-saving or getting second-generation offspring in the shortest time possible? If they think so, I couldn't imagine how egotistical and mean they are, considering that they regard those things (especially the first one, which I think is nonsense) as more important than their child's genuine happiness.

It is to be remembered that there are a number of reasons why people are single. Some would like to get married but just haven't found the right partners yet – they do hope they will find their Mr./Miss Right, though. Others are not sure whether or not marriage is the right thing for them – we can call people of this type "on-the-fencers", suggesting their open stance on the matter. Then, there are those who have decided not to get married due to their own particular reasons. Perhaps, they have been hurt so much in their previous relationship that they find it impossible to move on and have a new one (pistanthrophobia). Or maybe they prefer to concentrate on their careers/business or devote their limited time on Earth to other interests, such as charity – the priests of the Catholic Church practice celibacy for this reason of serving God for His kingdom. Of course, we need to not forget those who have a boyfriend/girlfriend but haven't gotten married yet (like Rose). Probably they haven't tied the knot because of insufficient funds, or they are still finding out about their partners. And to my knowledge, there are people who enjoy being committed in a relationship rather than a marriage (this is especially common among Westerners).

I think the sort of attitude towards the "bullies" that singles need to adopt is the "why should you care?" one. However, ignoring the pesky askers or throwing "mind your own business" at them would be unwise and too rude an act, and it almost certainly will make you a highly dislikable figure in your family or friend circles. I completely realize that being involved in such a nosy & pushy conversation (especially if happens many times) is an example of "sad" things in life, since we couldn't predict (and decide) what kind of family and society we would be born into. However, a reality is a reality and we should handle it as well and smartly as we can. I am convinced that speaking in a soft, respectful tone is the best way to get out of this T. rex jaw situation. Nevertheless, one must make sure that they give a clear, to-the-point explanation. For example, to a "When are you getting married?" question, a single could reply, "To be honest, I don't know when I will get married. I don't have a boyfriend yet as I haven't found the right one for me, and I'm fine with it. I just let my life flow and I hope I will find my Mr. Right/him and get married at the right time." Bear in mind that this has to be stated in a firm and confident way in order to give the best effect possible.

If there is one lesson that can be drawn from this issue, it is that some (or many) people desperately need to become more mature (and less of a busybody) and pay more respect to others with regard to their privacy, to which they are fully entitled.

Thank you for reading this article and please share your thoughts and experiences regarding this matter in the comment section below!
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