By: Andiza Firaldi
My visit and interview assignment were done in Friday, 5 October 2012. I and my friend, Afdal Gilang decided to go to Tanjung Barat and Lenteng Agung train station. Because I’ve seen some marginal people, like garbage man and beggar. And it’s not too far away from Depok. When we arrived there we can see some houses next to railway and there are some places where garbage man sells their garbage, in Bahasa we usually called it ‘pengepul’. But, all the garbage man seems to be busy. So we decided to look around some marginal people that weren’t busy. After looking for half hour finally we met a person that fulfills our criteria and we decided to have a chat with him. His name is Mukhtar, but he prefers to be called as ‘Abang Mukhtar’. He’s quite old and doesn’t have a job. He lives with his nephew and all of his needs are supplied from his nephew. Beside that he also received some money from the mosque near his home. What he does every day is just sitting around doing nothing. He seems to be satisfied by his condition and he doesn’t want to get a job to help his nephew. After several minutes chatting, we decided to look for other marginal people that we can interview because Abang Mukhtar can’t give us an interesting story and he tend to be passive. Our next marginal people that we interviewed named Sunyoto. He was born in 1946 and he’s a parking man. He moved from Jogja to Jakarta in 1962. He thought there are many jobs in Jakarta so he left his job in Jogja as farmer and moved to Jakarta. When he arrived in Jakarta the reality is not as easy as he thought so he became a kuli bangunan. He has 5 child and 3 of them have married, but 2 of them still studying in school. He has to pay 425 thousand rupiah per month for the school fee. While he only earns 30 thousand rupiah each day. It’s a quite a big amount for people like him, isn’t it? He has to spend half of his earning only for his child’s school fee. He hope the government rule about free school soon to be realized. He also has other disappointment for our government. He said now the government doesn’t care about marginal people. They only think about their wealth. So they became a corruptor. He hope the government will provide more jobs for marginal people instead of thinking only about their money.
From that visit and interview assignment I have some lessons such as never depend your life to other people. Abang Mukhtar is a bad example for all of us, he depend his life to other people. He doesn’t want to work for his life, luckily he have a kind nephew that want to fulfill his needs. Imagine if he doesn’t have a family like that. His live will be miserable and probably he will become a beggar. Begging for money from other people and doesn’t want to work for his own life. How Indonesia will develop into a better country if many people have this mindset? While in the other hand if we see Pak Sunyoto, he is independent, he doesn’t depend his life to other people like Abang Mukhtar. He wants to work for his life. He doesn’t want to be a beggar. He said why we want to depend our life to other people when we can work for our own life. Other lesson that I got is never forget your God. Even though Pak Sunyoto’s life is not as lucky as our life, he never forgets his God. He always thanks to God for his condition and his life. When he has a spare time, he goes to mosque and beritikaf. Sometimes he also read Quran in his spare time. And he doesn’t want to do a dirty job like thief and robber because he always remembers that God will always watching us.
If I compare their life with my life, there are many differences. I would to thank to God that my life is more prosperous than their life. I can study in school and I don’t need to pay it by myself. Other people want to study at school, but they can’t. They have to help their parents living their life. And I still have parents that can fulfill my needs without my help. Also I can live without any worries about things such as food, house, and any other main needs, but they still worried about that. And I’m lucky that I still have people who can support me like my parents, friends and teachers, they will always be there to support me when I need it. While many of them don’t have people who can always supporting behind them. Many of them were left by their parents when they were babies. They don’t have a figure that they can learn to. Many of them learn from the wrong person and they will become a criminal when they grow up.
Personally I want to help them resolve their problems. Of course as a student we must give some contribution for our country by helping some of unlucky people like marginal people. Because, after graduation we will be busy with our job and maybe we will forget to help them. I think they deserve a better life. Many of them have guts to do it, as an example Pak Sunyoto. He has guts to change his life by moving in to Jakarta. But, unfortunately he doesn’t have other skills besides farming and he even didn’t go to school because when he was a boy his parents told him to help them to take care about their farm. There are many ways to help people like Pak Sunyoto resolve their problems. As an example, you can hold a charity for them. From charity you can give them food, money, clothes and many other essential needs. Beside that we can introduced some of them to someone who need employees like cleaning service, gardener and other jobs that doesn’t require a lot of skills. If we can provide them a better job, they will have a better life. This is what I think of. But, since I’m still a student, I can’t provide them a job by myself. What I can do is just introduced them to people that I know can help them in matter of jobs. Besides that, we as student, we can give free lessons for child who can’t go to school. We can teach them how to read, write and calculate simple things. So at least we can reduce some of our population that can’t read and write. Because reading and writing is the most basic thing to get a new knowledge.
From my visit and interview activity with marginal people I can develop some relations with my magic word which is akhlak. Akhlak itself can be defined as a person’s behavior to do good deeds that driven by their consciousness. Akhlak it’s something that everyone need to have in their self. If everyone doesn’t have a good akhlak, imagine what can happen. This world will be in chaos. Criminals will be everywhere. People won’t care about other people and corruption case will be increased. What I see from my visit and interview activity is even though Pak Sunyoto having difficulties to living his family, he still works in a good way. He doesn’t even think to become a thief or robber, because he still has a good akhlak. Besides, he’s quite a religious man. He thinks if we do the best for our life, God will give us a better life. Besides our relationship with God, we must have a good relationship with other people. Because we’re not living alone in this world and sometimes we need other people to help us. With visit and interview activity itself we have make a good relationship with other people especially marginal people.
And from our ethical subject in Excellent Ethics class that we’ve discussed I can see some relationship with the visit and interview activity. Basically, our visit and interview assignment is like the practical exercise from what we’ve been discussing in class. As an example, for doing that assignment we need to have guts. Why we need guts? Because to interview people like garbage man, pengamen, beggar and other marginal people is not an easy task. We have to try to have a conversation with them. Even though we don’t know their backgrounds and what can they do to us. Besides guts we need to be friendly and we need to have a good empathy towards people like marginal people. If we don’t have those personalities it will be difficult to us to do this assignment because they won’t want to be interviewed by someone that looks like government official. Beside that with this assignment we may learn some new things from them. And maybe it can change our mindset towards marginal people.
What I think about the spirit of nationalism of Indonesian youth nowadays is tend to be decreasing if we compare it from the previous era. In the previous era, college student especially from Universitas Indonesia have a huge impact to our political issue. They led our people to delivered their aspiration and disappointment to our government. But, in this era Indonesian youth tend to be passive; they prefer to watch from behind. Even many of our Indonesian youth don’t care about what happened to our country. They don’t know any issue that is happening in Indonesia, and I’m considered as one of them. Why this can be happening? I think as the globalization kicks in our youth generation will less care about their country, they will be busy with their own interest such as games, sport and everything that more fun than just watching our country’s issue. Most of them rarely watch news or reading newspaper. Because nowadays there are many tv shows and books that are more attractive for youth generation. If we just sitting around doing nothing, our country will get worse than now. At least, we must make a contribution to our country. There are many ways to give a contribution to our country. As an example if we are graduated from university we can start working in local companies or become an entrepreneur. Because, as Prof Raldi said entrepreneur can help our country economics. We can’t depend our self to overseas company like Freeport, Chevron and many other companies that will cause our country become poorer. Because what they do is just harvesting our country’s assets and only our elites can get the profit from them. We can’t let this happen continuously. If we let this happen our country will not develop to a better country. We need to be an independence country in order to make Indonesia better. Speaking of being independence my personal dream is to make a geothermal power plant, because what I learn from intro to mechanical engineering Indonesia have a huge potential in term of geothermal energy and we can’t give them to other country. We need to explore it by our self so that we can enjoy what God has given to our country.
And based from our discussion in class about paradigm shift, mind-set, nationalism, stop being employees, integrity, independence, risk take and anti-corruption. I want to write some of my opinion for our actual society. Our society is full of many different levels of people from elites to marginal people. They all have different mind-set. If we talk about marginal people mindset, from my experience after interviewing some of them, they are only thinking about how to living their family. I don’t blame them for having such a narrow mindset, because it’s their obligation to fulfill their family needs. Some of them who have guts and can take a risk have tried to make a change to their life. Such as moving to Jakarta to find a better job. But, what can we do if we don’t have any education or skills. You can’t survive this world if you only depend on your guts. It’s a different story if we compare it to someone who have high education level. Of course they have skill and have been through education. But, from what Prof Raldi said they will only think about their salary. It’s their mindset to get high salary. They’re willing to be just an employee to get a high salary. If our entire scholar has an employee mindset, how this country will develop to a better country. They just following the orders from their boss and they are not willing to take a risk to be an independence person like entrepreneurs. We must make a paradigm shift for our people. We need to be independence. We can’t depend our future to overseas companies forever. Actually, they can adverse Indonesia. If we can explore our property by our self, we can be a rich country and our country will become a prosperous country. Unfortunately, some people don’t realize how great our potential is. But, many of our people who have realized our potential still don’t want to be independence and stop being an employee. They tend to be in their comfort zone which is being an employee. They don’t have guts to make a change in their life. It’s such a shame, because they are professionals and they have required skills to make it happen.
And last ethical subject that I want to talk about is anti-corruption. Prof Raldi is very concerned about this topic. He has discussed it with us many times in class. He said corruption it’s like a storm that hit us. If we don’t get out from there we can dragged in to that storm. No matter how strong we are, as the time goes by we will dragged into corruption, unless we get out from that environment. Corruption itself will cause negative effect to our nation. It’s very obvious that it will cause negative effect, because the money that should be used to our country development is being used for personal needs by those corruptors. They don’t hesitate to use it for their personal needs. Even though it’s not their money, it’s our people’s money. Many of our people don’t have their rights fulfilled because of these corruptors. These corruptors don’t have heart. They use their brain in the wrong way. It’s such a shame that they use their potential in the wrong way. Imagine if they use their brain in the right way. Our country problem will be solved one by one and our country will develop into a better country. That’s why we need to use our heart and brain before making a decision.
After half of semester being in excellent ethics class I received many new knowledge and experience. One of memorable experience that I’ve been through is to get to know marginal people. How they live their life, how they solve their problems and many other things that have amazed me. I never thought that they have a lot of interesting story that they can share to us. They have changed the way I think with their life stories. Beside visit and interview experience, I also get some new knowledge in class that later will be useful when I grow up. This knowledge is as important as other skills that we learn from other class. And this knowledge can be gotten only from Excellent Ethics class. While other class only care about our skills. Prof Raldi has realized me that in reality we need to balance our brain and our heart. Because if we think only with our brain, we will only think about profit and loss. If it profitable for us we will do it no matter what. But, if it can inflict to a loss we won’t do it. As an example, if we see corruptors they don’t use their heart to make a decision, they only use their brain. Of course they are smart people, but they use their brain in the wrong way. They don’t care about our people. They only care about their wealth and how to get money as much as possible no matter how it takes without thinking the effect to other people. Besides having an excellent ethics, we need to have guts or in other word we can call it bravery. Because guts is one of the most important thing to have if we want to be a successful person. It doesn’t matter if we fail when we try. At least we do something and that’s more important than doing nothing.