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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Thanks


I want to list why I am thankful for 2016, like everybody does. And why not? 2016 has been a particularly rough and challenging years from me, but I manage to sail through it. Not in one piece, of course; there are bits of me floating as debris in the sea of life. Nevertheless, I also accomplished a lot: passing the state exam for Life Insurance agent license and getting my blog reach to 150k+ viewer are two of my many other achievements. We can talk about me, but let's not.

Let's talk about, and give thanks, to the 'invisibles' in our life. 2016 has fair share of unexpected and, in a few cases, downright nasty surprises along the way. We have many hot and sexy topics if we are so inclined: refugee, jihadi war, economic downturn, Trump presidency, and for my Indonesian friends, the cyber war of religious and racial (in)tolerance in Indonesia. Is this not all we have and presented in our day-to-day life? Bad news, inflaming rhetoric, misinformation, hoax, these are all presented to us by our own friends and ourselves who gullibly believe and share them without fact checking. This is why we should stop talking about it, at least this time.

Hate spread like wildfire, while love is sorta like the tree that gives life. Wildfire could destroy a tree, but tree will always regrow. It just takes time. And when it is fully grown, we'll always have the comfort and protection of the tree. And if we nurture it correctly, we'll have a forest of it: giving oxygen, providing shades, providing place to live for small animals, a nurturing and feeding place for all creatures. We got more with tree a.k.a love than with wildfire a.k.a hate. It just takes time and effort, unlike wildfire who can easily rampage everything just from a single spark.

Yet how do we love? To love is to know. To do that, start small and local. Pitiful images and tugged-heart-string stories are abundance out there, sometimes distracting us from what we actually can do, can love, around us. How often do we acknowledged people around us that help us in our daily activities? The bus drivers, the store keepers, the supermarket clerk, the guys who fix the vending machines, the restaurant workers who prepared our food, the delivery guys who transported produce and goods in giant trucks so we can buy them in our nearest supermarkets, the street sweeper, the office admins, the list goes on and on.

An Indonesian artist, Kurnia, draw a comic where Jesus was seen explaining how all human actions, and therefore, our sins as well, are connected with one another. Don't it also apply to human connection as well? How many of us can actually say we did it on our own? To get a slice of avocado in our burritos, for instance, involve the effort of numerous, maybe countless people: the farmer, the irrigation worker, the government admin who help with the land sale, the fertilizer maker, the chain of distribution, all the way to our hands. And if, say if you grow the avocado yourself with no help from others, you are still indebted to people before you who domesticated the plant long time ago; and their domestication effort involved many people as well. 

To see how big the world is we do not need to look far to countries or realms beyond us; all we need is to look around us and see the small things that shaped our world, the 'invisibles' who helped us every day and become a part of our world so much that we taken them for granted, that they are just there. Say hello to them. Look them in their eyes. Give a smile. Give thanks, because they are the ones who shaped our lives. It is too easy to get swapped away with priorities. They are getting paid anyway, are they not? Why bother with thanks? The answer is because we don't do their jobs, either because we can't or we won't, thus a simple thanks and acknowledgement (which cost us nothing) is in order. You can be whatever you want, why not choose to be somebody who'll brighten other people's life?

In the world full of hate, be a singular sea of calmness to quench and killed the fire. We are all humans, are we not? All created with the same image of God, all have the same basic DNA strain [with mutation here and there], all bleed, all mortal, all have desires and emotions and feelings, and most importantly: we all connected with one another. The end is near, some say. Hate and fear are like cancer, that if went uncheck will easily metastase and spread throughout our body and killing us. Is this really how we want to live our lives? In a tortured agony of fear and hate, living a half-life no human should experience?

Love is kind. Love is gentle. Love is calming. Love, however, takes time to grow. And patience. And acceptance. Love needs work; in short, it is not instantaneous. Yet it doesn't need to be hard or self-sacrificing or whatever. It doesn't need to be as dramatic as in the movies or books. It just need our willingness and courage to find ourselves in other people, to acknowledge them as human and connect with each other. See your surroundings and appreciate the people that shaped your life, the overlook part of your daily activities. Give thanks, give proper credit, give a smile of acknowledgement. To know is to love, is it not? Wishing you all the best in the next 365 days to come. Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one
    or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    ReplyDelete

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