Monday, July 25, 2016

Why We Compare Ourselves to Others?

“I don’t see the sense in comparing ourselves to other people all the time. It’s not about being better than anyone else or having nicer things...”

I read it in “Seriously.. I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres and couldn’t say anything but agree. I think comparison makes you feel bad about yourself, no matter how good you are. But still, in reality, words are easier than actions.

I’ve been telling myself not to compare myself to others, but I can’t miss any single morning not doing so. I make comparisons both to people I consider in upper and lower level than mine. And I ended like never feel thankful of what I have, and simultaneously feel snobbish.

I don’t want to blame my past, but yeah I think it might be derived from my childhood. I remember those Eid Fitr days 10 years back, when my big family gathered in grandma’s house. It’s a nice and warm family time. I had the annual judging panel. No Simon Cowell, the judges are my aunts and uncles.

My aunt started the most avoided question: “so how’s school?” Well, I never ranked #1 in the class, nor attended the best school in town, but 5 of my cousins were and did. So I just answered little and let my Mom saved me by talking to my aunt.

Life went on but the situation remains unchanged. Last year, one of my uncle asked me why I didn’t join the selection of PNS (public servant) and join the Kemen PU (Ministry of Infrastructure) just like him. I said I am not interested and he was keep comparing my job as journalist with his.

This year on last Eid, luckily my aunt (wife of the PNS uncle) mentioned my trip to USA and adored how good it was. Of course, it was great. But the point is my judging session went so smooth and the next was just fine.

Then my brother sent me a LINE message: “kak, selamatkan ade dari penghakiman ini hahaha” (Please save me from this judging session LOL). I asked him what happened. He said he was fine–he is studying Physics in Gadjah Mada University so everything will be OK and he got praises–but one younger cousin was the victim this year. This cousin’s father, my uncle, keep telling him how good I am and my brother and urged him to follow us. Yes, of cours –BIG NO.

Everyone is unique and has potential. Everyone has their own fights. Comparisons will ignore the beautiful flaw of being human. Then people can’t appreciate their existence and can’t understand how precious they are.

If you want to keep updated about my life jusk ask, but please don’t comment. And please don’t tell me your advice is the way you express your affection, it’s just how you show control. By the time people stop judging and comparing me to others –good or bad–I will stop doing the same to myself and others.

I acknowledge that comparing yourself to others is somehow relieving. And if you think you still need it, just keep the comparisons in your mind. Someday you will think you don’t need it eventually. Because the only person you have to beat is your yesterday self.***

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bagaimana Kompas TV Keliru Meliput Razia Warteg*

*Dimuat di situs Serikat Jurnalis untuk Keberagaman (Sejuk)

Video liputan ini di linimasa Facebook, hingga Sabtu (11/6/2016) malam, sudah ditonton 2,3 juta kali dan panen kecaman. Dalam video itu nampak petugas Satpol PP Serang, Banten, merazia sebuah warung nasi yang buka di siang hari. Terlihat ibu pemilik warung memohon kepada petugas untuk tidak menyita makanannya – meski pada akhirnya petugas mengabaikannya dan ibu itu meninggalkan warung sambil menangis.

Video 1 menit 42 detik itu mungkin hanya selintas, namun ia menunjukkan gambaran besar mengenai perspektif keliru yang digunakan jurnalis tersebut. Saya mencatat beberapa kalimat dalam naskah yang mencerminkan cara pandangnya.

“Warung ini diketahui nekat melayani konsumen pada siang hari saat bulan suci Ramadhan."

“Demi terwujudnya toleransi dan saling menghormati antar umat beragama, semua warung makan dilarang beroperasi saat siang hari.”

Teks di CG bawah layar: “Imbauan bersama demi toleransi saat Ramadhan”

Kalimat-kalimat di atas menggambarkan poin-poin yang penting diperhatikan. Pertama, jurnalis itu (yang mungkin juga seorang muslim yang sedang berpuasa) gagal melepas jaket agamanya ketika meliput, menulis, atau mengedit, sehingga hasil liputannya sangat bias. Liputan ini bisa digunakan kelompok intoleran untuk membenarkan aksi main hakim sendiri: razia warung makan.

Kedua, jurnalis gagal kritis terhadap penguasa dan akhirnya menulis berita yang birokrat-sentris. Hal ini terlihat dari kalimat “imbauan” yang ditulis mentah-mentah. Akibatnya, berita itu hanya jadi amplifier bagi kehendak penguasa. Toleransi dan menghormati itu seharusnya alami, tidak dipaksakan.

Ketiga, berita ini menunjukkan betapa dangkalnya pemahaman jurnalis tentang posisi negara terhadap agama – yang seharusnya terpisah dan saling menyeimbangkan. Negara tidak boleh ikut campur dalam perdebatan tafsir agama di kalangan masyarakat, dan media harus menjadi wasit yang menjaga proses itu. Namun liputan ini malah seolah membenarkan aksi agama yang menunggangi negara dan sebaliknya.

Perspektif pemberitaan di atas, baik disengaja atau karena keteledoran, bersifat kontraproduktif bagi pengembangan demokrasi di negara yang masyarakatnya relijius. Hal ini juga menunjukkan kegagalan jurnalis menjalankan fungsinya sebagai watchdog dalam negara hukum.

Kekeliruan ini bisa saja dilakukan oleh reporter di lapangan, maupun editor atau produser. Terbebas dari siapapun yang membentuk naskah itu, berita ini tetap tidak kontributif. Ini adalah pengingat penting bagi media – tak hanya Kompas TV namun juga media-media lain – agar lebih arif dalam meliput isu agama.

Penulis adalah jurnalis Kantor Berita Radio (KBR)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

#RamadanStory: Closing Down Warung to Respect Ramadan?

I remember when I am having dinner together with friends - one of them is Jewish - in Bandung few years back. We were at Madtari - where an instant noodle "Indomie" served with toppings like corned beef, cheese, and egg combined.

We were about to order our food when my Jewish friend explain about kosher, the law of eating equal to halal concept for Muslims.

"I can't order Indomie with such toppings, unfortunately. It is considered not kosher," he explained.


"Corned beef and cheese made from cow milk are just like parent and children, we cannot boil them at once," he said carefully. In Jewish law, it is called בשר בחלב‎‎ (basar bechalav) or literally meat in milk. Book of Exodus forbids "boiling a (kid) goat in its mother's milk".

So he avoided all of Indomie-related menus and just moved to toast instead.

As respect to my Jewish friend, I wanted to cancel my Indomie as I did not want to pique him. But he responded fast and firm, "just go ahead with your Indomie. Kosher is my business, not yours."

I was incessantly impressed by his attitude towards us and his own belief, until today.

A Lesson for Today

I think my experience is precisely relevant to what happened in Indonesia annually: Ramadan debate of closing warung. Have you watched the video from Kompas TV that Satpol PP of Serang, Banten, seized one warung that opened in the midday of Ramadan? Yeah, that's the problem!

For decades, it is common to hear cliche slogans like "close your warung to respect those who fast" or "to embrace tolerance among us, government forbids warung to open", yet I strongly oppose them. Because I believe that respect is something you earn from your modest personality, not by indignantly forcing others to do so. You can't expect the world adjusts itself just to suits your mood.

This is similar with the situation in the office or college or anywhere. You will automatically give respect to your bosses or lecturers or anyone who embrace you warm, not to those who impose strict law and demand yourself to accommodate their needs.

The second thing is government's attitude on religion. Religion is something that the State cannot interfere. Consequently, those mayors and local politicians cannot join the public debate on religious practices. They should not compose any law "for the sake of tolerance" just to satisfy one particular group that has their own interpretation.

Remember, tolerance has to be grown naturally. If some warung owners want to close their shops, or want to open, it is up to them. The only duty the government bears is to protect Muslim's right to fast, and others' right to not fast - and make sure there is no-one in this country is enable to use violence and neglect our law.

Remember, nor intolerant groups or the State has the task to write down our merit and sin. Fasting is our personal business with God. So just let angel Roqib and angel Atid continue their assigned jobs.

So when you see intolerant groups are arrogantly forcing warung to close, and think that's something good, please do think twice. Maybe people will follow their demand, yet people don't give respect and people are just afraid. And we may possibly ask those groups cordially: are you worshiping your God or just your ego?

June 12 
3.15 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#RamadanStory : How We Ask Religion

My 1st day of Ramadan was awkward.

I was putting on my shoes on Monday morning when my ibu kos greeted me at the door, and bashfully asked.

"Rio, do you fasting?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Do you celebrate Eid?"

"Yes. Why, bu?"

"I thought you celebrate Christmas."

Oh come on!

Honestly I am familiar with those annual typical questions - and I usually respond the way I did. To make it crystal clear, I did not feeling offended or attacked with that. Wasn't indignant at all. The point is not why asking my religion, but why asking my religion that way?

Back to my days as students, I was frequently asked by curious shy friends. Apparently because most people find me as religion ambiguous - well I am muslim. I remember the other way people used to know my identity.

"Do you go to the mosque or the church?"

What if I don't do both?

I know that for some people religion is an issue. Even considered as taboo. So when they talk about it, they will prefer analogy, almost silent, feeling guilty or offended, or just avoid the talk anyway.

But the more you don't want to say religion as a noun, the more it shows the problem within your mind. If you think saying I am buddhist or I am hindu is embarrassing, it represents your classification and narrow-judgmental mind. What you have in mind is other religions are wrong or illogical, or simply think they all are not equal compared to yours.

Contrary - and I reccomend this - just ask it firm and clear.Without adding sorry as an intro.

"What is your religion?"

Such question shows neutrality, and there's nothing wrong with your faith or others'.

Only to those people who say religion as a noun - which I believe will get rid off prejudice and stereotype - I will care to spend hours to discuss about God. []

June 8
00:13 a.m.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fitness First and Transjakarta Were Celebrating Kartini's Day All Wrong

To Fitness First and Transjakarta

Today, I find that our struggle for gender equality is still thousand miles away. 

This evening, Fitness First Senayan City conducted a special event for Kartini's Day named FITGIRL. The so-called carnaval consists of several classes by only female instructors wearing batik, tracks by female singers only, and the club decorated with batik. But the worst part was the merchandise was for girl  participants only.

Went home, I was waiting for a Transjakarta bus. The first bus is half pink and has huge text of "Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang" (After darkness, there's light) written on the sides of the bus. Then the bus attendant rejected me as the bus is for female passengers only.

Wait a minute, is this how they commemorating Kartini's Day? Where is the equality between girls and boys that our national heroine has shown us decades ago? Open your history book and you'll easily find that Kartini fought for equality, not the special treat for girls!

You guys have hijacked Kartini's Day by embarassingly misinterpreting her noble ideas. Thanks for your stupidity now our future of gender-equal world even more uncertain. []