Watatita: What Can You Do for Your Country?
Last weekend, my brother graduated with his master’s degree from a private university, and being a supportive sister, I came and watched his graduation ceremony. My mother and I sat at one of the higher seats and we had a great view of the whole room. From there I could see hundreds of new graduates from the bachelors, masters to the doctorates. It triggered a feeling of pride and happiness for these people who worked hard — some even managed to reach a GPA above 3.8.
Before the names of the graduates were called to the stage, the choir sang a national song called “Padamu Negeri” (“To You My Nation”) — a very moving and incredibly emotional national song. I couldn’t help it and started bawling my eyes out. Why? All of a sudden, it made me realize something that never crossed my mind before.
In a split second, all these thoughts came running through my head. This kind of graduation ceremony is held every year in every university in Indonesia, and each time it is held, hundreds of people graduate. This means that Indonesia has a lot of smart people – smart enough to complete projects, write essays, discuss issues, and ultimately obtain a university degree. However, as we all can see… our country is still a big catastrophe.
It made me feel so awful to think that a percentage of these graduates may not use their degree for something positive. As the song “Padamu Negeri” was sung, and there I was sobbing away, I realize that when we get educated, we should contribute our knowledge to build and improve this country. During times like these, educated people must make a contribution to society rather than just making money to satisfy each individual interests. Yes, I agree that people do work hard to reach a high level of education and yes, they do have the right to make their own money, but for goodness’ sakes, use your knowledge to help this country. Your ideas and your contributions could be a gift to Indonesia.
Many clever, intelligent people out there use their knowledge to cheat, to disadvantage other people, to acquire great power, and, worse, even to corrupt. Unfortunately, these sorts of people come out victorious in Indonesia and cause imbalance, suffering, and injustice. Fortunately, yes there are also many of us out there who uses their knowledge for something positive, to contribute to society, to create balance, to create peace, to provide help, to become real leaders. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to really, really thank these people.
This blog post can also be a reminder to myself. What can I do for Indonesia? It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, a university student, a middle school student – start asking yourself, what can you do for your country?