Guilty as charged, I was never really proud of my own country. It was more of love- hate relationship being caught in loving the charm from a Gado-Gado but hating the fact that it always has a way to take away your willpower in instances where most phone numbers here do not actually work. As someone who has traveled and moved around countries and cities, I’m just now realizing that the most important changes in my life actually occurs in the country where I live. For better or for worse, despite the challenges or maybe because of them – I love Indonesia.
The truth is, it was here in this country where the strength of my character is being shaped, my Faith being tested and my fighting spirit comes to burn. It was also here that I found the gift and real meaning of relationships.
What comes to your mind when you hear Indonesia? It is more than just terrorism, corruption or Bali – it has the largest archipelago in the world stretching from Sabang until Merauke with over 18000 counted islands and of course that is not all to it because the best part about Indonesia lies in the people.
I will never forget the big and genuine smile from my elevator lady who smiles effortlessly and unconditionally to every single grumpy and zombie-faced working class man or woman who stepped into the elevator. Those few seconds sent so much Aha moments, almost making me sorry for taking such a simple gesture for granted. She doesn’t speak for all the 240 million people here but she is the epitome of the Indonesian people and pride – full of warmness, for this is Wonderful Indonesia.
While trying to sound politically correct here, we all hope for a new Indonesia but instead we tend to throw critics and just stand on the sidelines but the real question here is – what have we actually done individually?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
– Mahatma Gandhi
It doesn’t take a Superman or Gandhi to change this country because it is never about one person but the spirit of collaborative work (Gotong Royong) from all; moving from comfort to care – carrying trash until you can find a trashcan, not smoking in places where there are pregnant women and babies. The next time such situations challenge you and I, our choices whether to care and serve will determine who and what comes out on the other side.
Indonesia is not perfect, it never will be but I choose to see that it is wonderful and above all, in my eyes – I choose to see that every child in this country deserves to dream. And I hope you see that in yours too.
“Aku anak Indonesia dan Aku punya Mimpi”
– Inspiration Factory Foundation”
This is my gift for you. Happy 71st Birthday Indonesia!
From the desk of Jenny Tjoa
Co-founder of the Inspiration Factory Foundation