A friend of mine asked me why I did not come up as Candidate for Legislative Assembly (Caleg) for the coming general election. “I saw the banner of one of your relatives who is running for a seat in the Assembly; why aren’t you?”
Well, I said to him that by being a teacher like what I am now, I have been contributing some good to the shaping and molding and development of my compatriots.
I loathe Indonesian politics. It sucks and corrupts, that’s it.
But to me personally, I derive huge satisfaction from seeing people around me-my children, my mentees, my students, my younger colleagues-benefit from my works. To me that has been the greatest gift I can possibly get. I feel very much elated when reading an sms from my fellow lecturer at Ubaya: “Pak, thanks for being so inspiring. I do get a lot of inspiration about doing research from you.” That is definitely a huge intangible reward. And that is, I am sure, not the only one.
Thus I never spend any slightest moment of joining a political party and then proposing myself as a “caleg”. I could, of course, but I simply wouldn’t. Indonesian politics is simply so despicable and I am such a naïve person that I think I would end up being frustrated and downhearted if I entered that heinous political arena.
God has laid down for me a life path to be worked upon, and that is teaching, raising a family, mentoring, writing books and blogs. Though I may be silly and ignorant as far as politics is concerned, I believe I have been doing things of equal or even higher value than running for a seat in the Parliament.