It is just amazing. He already figured out and imagined everything about the ideal environment of this school, something that is not usually planned by a caretaker. A job that people usually underestimate and Kang Een was doing it to the fullest, or maybe beyond that. He works 24/7 with a number of holiday less than every of us. He is not only do what he is ordered but also think about what he should really do. He makes vision just like the rest of us with a more distinguished and seemingly honorable job description. But, he never said a word related to Thank God It's Friday (T.G.I.F.)
However, the sky that I really love cannot be seen anymore in my hometown, Jakarta. What lies above my head is not the favorite sapphire-blueish sky at noon, but a soiled sky which has turned to grayish, dirty blue. It has gone. The blue sky has gone.
It was a story when I was accompanying my student, Sabariah, to the final of Kuark Science Olympiad in Jakarta. In our journey, we met a certain child that my friend brought from Majene to participate on the same competition. His name is Angga. At one time, he asked me why can't he see the stars here in Jakarta, and moreover why does the sky looks like burning, as it has a color of dark red at that time, probably everyd eay in Jakarta.
Well, there's an explanation to this phenomena. Jakarta, having a tons of fossil-fueled vehicles running through its vein, has showered itself with an immense amount of pollution exhausted by the vehicles. Apparently, the polluting particle is slightly lighter that the air above the ground that it hollows the upper layer of air, trapped below the ozon layer. This polluted air create a substances which people usually called "Smog" (seems like a combination of Smoke and Fog), therefore covered the Jakarta's air with a fog-like substance from the accumulation of smoke. This is also the reason why the blue sky looks as if grayish.
As for the answer for that kid, at night, the smog block the light emitted by the star, making it invisible from the ground. Even a full moon would look blurry behind the smog wall. It is a little like the Rayleigh Scattering which explains why does the sky looks blue, apparently the light emitted by the stars and moon are scattered, making them looks unclear or in extreme way, unseen. This is also quite similar to how we cannot see them under cloudy weather.
The burning color comes from the city-light emitted by the sky-scrappers in the city. The lights, having yellow color in nature, showered the smog layer in the sky, painting it with orange color which makes it like burning. This phenomenon is similar to shooting light to a smoke or fog which gives us a view of yellow smoke or fog with addition that the smoke or fog is now can be seen much more clearly than before. These two reasons are behind the unseen stars and burning sky at night.
Well, now, right after I think of it, something crossed my mind. How this phenomena reflect ourselves in our lives. The pollution is an analogy of the bad things we had done in our lives. This bad things may be forgiven, but it may never be forgotten. In the end, the bad things, no matter how small it is, will cloud our good personality and blurred people's opinion on us. People will find it hard to see the stars inside us since the objectivity is clouded by the smog of our sin in the past.
Moreover, in that condition, people might talk bad on your good actions or your wealthiness. Nobody in this earth love the burning sky in Jakarta. People miss the starry pitch-black sky that accompany us in the night. You may have a wonderful city-lights inside you that you actually want people to feel enlightened even in the darkest night. You may have the most sincere motivation in doing so, probably to redeem yourself for the sin that you have done in the past. However, the smog is still there. What's left for your good doings is that burning sky that everybody hates, like a sinner wearing angel mask, and your cause is just not that sincere, as if you're a hypocrite.
I guess this is the point of no returning. You cannot turn-back time and undo your sin. But, really, I believe there is a reset button in this life like the one that we have in video games, a button called starting all over again. Once you stop polluting yourself, even though your crusade are being rejected like the burning sky, just believe that even the earth could regulate itself and little by little, it banishing the smoke out of the sky so that people could the starry sky they always missed. The same goes for us, one day the smog might disappear even though it leaves some traces, but people will start accepting you again, that you have redeemed yourself for all of your faulty life in the past.
Looking at the burning sky of Jakarta everyday, reminds me of my faults in the past and how I may have hurt people with that. But, I always know that every human has a place to be forgiven as long as they live their live for the good and leave the faulty behind. I must press this reset button and start things all over again, never repeating the same mistakes again, and returning the blue and starry skies that I always love. This is what life is meant to be, to learn from our every mistake to create a better tomorrow.
At sky is our reflection,
_It is my endless appetite to dream..._
I was born a dreamer, that's one thing for sure. I cannot stop dreaming, imagining for even a second in my life. It was merely a fantasy of a boy in the beginning, something like being a superhero, gaining special power, save the world, or something else like that.
But, in the end, the more I fantasize, the more I realize how normal I am, how ordinary. I look around and realize that even if such a fantasy exist, it won't be me. There are a lot of people around me that are worth more to become one. While me? I will remain a dreamer among these special borns around me.
But, that is no problem for me. I may be ordinary, but I believe I have the same right to dream, and I have the same right to make it real. Thus, while youth still remains inside me, I dream for more. But, this time I dream differently.
I begin my dream with the end. What would I accomplish at the end of my life? Then I dream about the path, the long and hard path to reach for the end. And yes, the imagination is flowing through my mind and it just won't stop. I even dream about several seconds to go to the future, even though most of them are not realized.
Then, during my childhood, I have put milestones to reach for the end pf my dream. A dream for another dream. These milestone are my childhood dreams, the product of my imagination for the end.
_I dream of a world without poverty_
That is the end, eradicating poverty. And in order to progress, I need to fulfill a dream for another and go on, dreams like going to university of indonesia, studying abroad at USA, enrolling in Princeton University, and so many other milestone, a dream for another.
And back when I was younher than this, I have vow to myself, that if any of my childhood dreams are accomplished, I would cut all of my hair on my head, becoming completely bald.
_Why is that?_
Because hair will always grow no matter how many times you cut it. It falls, but befor you notice it, it will rise again and again. That is a philosophy that I would put in my heart, the I would grow up no matter what, I will strive for the end of my dream.
Cutting my hair means that it is time to start all over again. One of my dream is accomplished and now is time to start again from zeri and strive for another dream, a dream for another dream. I must not be mesmerized by the accomplished dream and strive more. The hair keeps on growing rven if I cut it all, so why should I stop on just this one dream.
This is my second time in my life for cutting all of my hair. This is just my second childhood dream, my second milestone. The road to the end is still very long. I hope more of my hair would be cut, more of my dream would be realized. Even though I am just an ordinary person, just like my hair, I won't stop dreaming, growing and progressing. This bald head will always be the witness.
With this fistful dream in my hand, I walk in the path I believe in...
_Never stop dreaming_
It was Ied Fitr, the victorious day for Moslem all over the world after one month of fasting, when I finally got my mind on this thing: What is victory?
This is a special Ied Fitr for me. Because, for the first time, I celebrate this special day separated from my family. As I may have told you before, I joined Teaching Indonesia (Indonesia Mengajar) to becoma a primary teacher in remote area. I am currently a primary teacher in Pangkalan Nyirih village of Rupat Island in Bengkalis, Riau. But, I am not alone in this once a year day, I have a new family in this island, Mr. Gopar and his warm family, swept away my bitterness of having this day without my main family.
In this special day, people in various social media ask each other the same question as mine, about the meaning of victory. People came up with various answers. Some told about their experiences, and some told about their phylosophies. I came up with quite different answer with theirs, at least with the ones that I have seen directly with my very own eyes.
For me, there are two meaning of victory. First, victory First is about ourselves, victory is about defeating yourself. A little contradiction, isn’t it? To achieve victory, you need to be defeated instead, and by your very own self. Actually, it was not ourselves in physical term. Ourselves is what beyond our flesh, that run through every vein and every cycle inside us. The weaknesses, the pride, the greed, the envy and any other things that consume our mind and blind our heart. It is the one that hinder ourselves to feel, hinder ourselves to see others, and bring us to our own self-fulfilling without any compassion about everything around us. It is very human to have these things in ourselves, but it is more human to put ourselves to defeat these parts of our own. It is a battle between ourselves. Can we defeat ourselves? Because, once we are defeated, we are victorious in reality.
Second is about the other around us, victory is when everybody never aim for victory, yet they do their best for themselves, and for the others. What is the importance of victory? Does it all that matter for you? Why are we always aiming for victories? Those who only aim for victory will eventually do anything to achieve it, even though in the process they have to hurt others. If that is what happen, then what is the meaning of having victories if we cannot celebrate it with others? True victory is when you do your best for yourself and the others without any ambition of actually winning it, and celebrate whatever the result you are having, because a solitary victory is no fun. We are social creature. Therefore, whether you win or lose, you are still celebrating your victories with those that you love, because you do what’s best for their part, too.
That is my dimensions of victory. Please keep in mind that victory is not a one straight line, it is a multidimensional system. Can you achieve victory for yourselves, and for others?