How do you define a good Indonesian?
When I was on my way to Dumai, a small city located 200 km from Pekanbaru in Riau Province, to do a compulsory internship in Pertamina UP II, I saw something really interesting. It was when I was waiting for my shuttle to get me from Pekanbaru to Dumai, which unfortunately wasted my 3 hours extremely valuable sleep time. Imagine this, a sleek poster, big, well-designed, pastel colors, with a title: “10 Ways to be A Good Indonesian”, in English.
It got me occupied for at least 3 minutes to pay attention to the design and 10 minutes to read its thoughtful message. Here are 3 of them, ones that I consider quite critical in delivering messages for us to be a truly good Indonesian people.
Speed your car down when the traffic light is yellow and stop when it’s red.
First time I read it, I was confused. Does that have anything to do with being a good Indonesian? But the second time, I understand what it means. Yellow light is a sign of caution, warning, and watchfulness. It is a way of telling the drivers to slow down their cars and then stop because the red light is about to come. The red light for us leads to a green light for other drivers from the other side of the road. But I bet you all now what actually we all do in the streets. We take chances. We don’t want to get our time wasted for another 2-3 minutes. We simply speed up our car when the traffic is yellow and see whether we can or cannot make it. But can you imagine what will happen when the traffic is terribly bad and somehow we can not make it? We will be astonishingly stuck in the middle of the crossroad and win the traffic-maker of the day award.
Always put a bit of elegance when stating your opinion.
This is very interesting considering there are so many people rioting about the fuel price rise on the street lately. They burnt red-plated government cars, blocked some main streets in the city, and marched along the way rejecting the government decision to increase the fuel price. Well, it is the right of the people to express their opinion. But why don’t we put a bit of elegance in it? Have you ever heard of a group of college students who made an in-depth analysis of the fuel price rise effects? They handed it to the government, they have the press coverage, and they succeeded in doing their role as the nation’s agent of change in a very good manner. So, which one are you?
Cherish you life. Share your love. Be positive.
We have to admit that Indonesia is not at its best. Yes, we are facing so many problems. Government corruption issues are coming to the surface, we are having a shortage of food supplies and energy, and we are left-behind compared to other fellow ASEAN countries. But still, can’t we just cherish our life a bit? Why can’t we believe that the new dawn is coming and we’ve been very close to that moment? I believe that happiness is a state of mind and it’s something we can get if we believe in it. Will we lose something if we choose to smile everyday and share our love to people around us and stop rumbling about how pathetic our country is? Things are not that ugly, guys. Be positive and put a bit of faith in your heart.
Let’s give a huge credit to whoever made that unique poster. Goodbye Dumai, Pekanbaru, and Riau. It was a really great time. Thank you for the very enlightening message. Be a good Indonesian, everyone.