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Friday, August 30, 2013

The Path for Better Wage (and Life)

I remember doing the same thing he did: riding on my (now ex) boyfriend's Vespa as we drove the lengthy 1.5 hour drive through Jakarta's horrendous traffic from my house in suburb, him on the steer and I sat on the back trying to cram some more materials in my head before the test that morning. I had to work late the night before, catch a measly nap and then start studying and cramming materials until 4 in the morning. I was so tired I kept falling asleep on the scooter and he had to drive with one hand on the handle and one other hand holding me so I wont fall off the scooter. I arrived at the nick of time, when the door was closing and the test was starting. I passed the test. Barely.

Fast forward a few years later I was working in one of Bali's best wedding company, dealing exclusively with international clientele and living the life to the fullest. Fast forward a few years later I am currently in US, being given a wonderful chance to be a full time writer. My education and hard work paid off.

The fast food workers that demand higher salary was old news. Really. It was uncannily similar with the factory worker in Indonesia that demand higher salary. Even though some of the factory workers really do deserve to be paid better, a whole lot of them that worked in better and/or bigger factories can easily spend a fifth of what they are making per day (or more) for cigarettes. And of course their Blackberry service and sleek smartphones. I am into human equality and such, but it really is not fair to spend two third of my life in education trying to get a better life when a non-educated labor can earn as much as I earn per month. It is not fair that I spent 20 years of my life (and counting) to honed myself to be a better person and have someone that can hardly speak in correct grammar (let alone write it) telling me I should honor him. I would happily honor and even blindly help man or woman who despite their condition still thrive for a better living, but not those that come down me and blame me for being better than them and ask me to take responsibility for it.

When you put equality in mind, it's easy to see the unfairness for these unskilled workers to live the less-than-better life compared to others who just happen to born in a better family. They too deserve the fun, the better life that the others had. And I believe there are people who despite their hardest effort still find themselves in the bottom of the food chain. Let's end this. Rising wages is not the answer though, not with the inflation that might come up. Nor is wealth-distributing since a good many people do deserve the wealth that they earned from their own sweat and blood. The answer is education. The answer is good parenting. The answer is goals. The answer is hope.

It is easy to say that if the government do not provide good education than all is lost, or if the rich can easily get better education thus leaving the others at their mercy. It is easy to say because it is true. But what else is true is that you can always have hope. You can always have pride. You can always have dignity. It is a hollow ring, too true. A cliche remark from someone who had a better start. But that's just it: you'll never know what one endure to be who he/she is, their journey might actually be easier than yours or it might be far more gruesome. You can choose between cursing other people for being better than you and stormed up excuses on why it is unfair, or you can focus on yourself and simply be better. Educate yourself both in terms of knowledge and/or degree that can give you a better job, and also in manners and other skills. Go to the library. Save the money that you allocate for a weekend drinking to pay online tuition fee instead, or hit the library as your weekend getaway. Be inspired. Be inspiring.

One factor that we can not change is who or in what condition we are born into. Being a parent means preparing our offspring to face the world: and the best weapon that he/she can have are education and self-esteem. If you can't give or not sure you can provide this for your offspring please do not have any. Get into birth control, play it safe. If you already have child(ren), then strive to get the best for them, to provide them with better future. You owe them that much, because it was your decision to have and to keep them. And yes, this goes to any human be it men, women, or transgender. No exception.

You hated the greasy fryer. You loathed those rude and demanding costumers. You wished for once you have enough money to pay every bills on time. You dislike your life so much you often wish the morning will never come. Get a move on then. And if you say too late for that, well move for your child(ren). Give them a better opportunity in this world, and see how they bloomed. Know that there will never be "equality" in terms of everyone owning the same thing, because basically human is greedy. But there can be "equality" in terms of improving yourself as well as enjoying and appreciating your life and what you have, and those are achievable. Now go and get it.

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