The World that Doesn’t Evolve Around Us

This morning I contemplated as I read through my Twitter timeline. The heated topic was our minister of education who is said to be surprised by the inequality in the country, especially in terms of infrastructure and education. I don’t know whether the media framed him to be that surprised or he truly is that innocent. I tweeted, did he really just knew that not all regions in Indonesia has 24 hours electricity a day?

Many people correlated the minister being ignorant to the fact that he has spent his education overseas. I do not agree. It might be a factor, but it shouldn’t be. I have told my opinion through Twitter but I guess I want to talk about it a little deeper, thus I write this post. I won’t talk about the minister in person, I’m more interested in the context: we often forget or even unaware of the existence of the world that does not evolve around us.

It is a very big world out there and our life is just a small part, we collide with some other’s life sometimes and there are parts that we can never touch. Either it is too far or too irrelevant. I think it must be a component of education, how we must at least understand that those untouchable parts exist. Even better if we can interact with them. There, we build a sense of empathy.

We can live in the capital city and able to see the problem people in rural area is facing. We can be so educated and understand the way people who do not go to school think. We can be the socialite and know the struggle of the poor. The heart and the mind needs to be left open to things that are beyond our daily life.

My mother always teach me that a child, though lives comfortably, has to learn to strive too. No matter how much we put an effort to build a comfortable life for our kids, we must not forget that they have to understand the reality of life – there are other worlds that do not evolve around them. Long time ago I read a blog post from Adhitya Mulya (it’s an old post, I can’t seem to find it now) and what he said really stick to my head. Shortly, let the children understand both comfort and discomfort. For instance, we provide them with car and teach them to ride a public transportation, too. Make them understand that comfort and luxury is not compulsory but a choice. They can choose to take the uncomfortable path once in a while or often and there they will learn empathy. They can touch the part that is far from their everyday life and it opens their view of this world.

Ahh, I know the world that does not evolve around us includes those who are above the sky. It would be nice, too, to touch it once in a while 🙂

Love, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

A Ramadan Like No Other

I tend to think a lot every time I commute from Mampang to Cibubur (I do it once every week during weekend). Perhaps because I stay inside the house for too long. Or maybe because I see a lot of people on the street. A lot of people who hold various kind of stories in this time of corona – who are currently struggling more than they have ever before.

It’s the month of Ramadan. The one that feels like no other. The one that is different for everybody all over the world. There’s no tarawih prayer in the mosque. The takjil market might still be open but obviously it won’t be as crowded as the previous years. I’tikaf will be done inside the house. No bukber or sahur on the road this time around. This is Ramadan in pandemic.

The vibe is somewhat strange. It used to be a festive season, full of joy and togetherness. To me, it was 30 magical days, which then completed by the eid day – which should be even more joyful. But this year the eid must be different too, i suppose. The pandemic is not likely to finish yet.

I really hope next year things will already be back to normal. But since we’re all here now, let’s just make the best out of it. It’s the moment with loads of opportunities to give charity because many people need it, to do silaturahim to as many people as possible virtually, to allocate money we used to spend for new clothes or home decor to the greater goods, and of to have more time on our own to reflect and get closer to The Almighty.

As we’re in a month of abundant blessings, let’s pray that the world heals, we get through this, and the new normal turns us to a better person.

Happy fasting, Ramadan mubarak!

❤️, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia