Sabtu, 27 Desember 2008

being different

Yesterday, my friend told me a story that touched me deeply. He had been with a beautiful Chinese girl whom he met in his Senior High School for four years. He told me how he really loved the girl so much, as his eyes sparked brightly when his mouth said the name of the girl. He told me how the girl touched his life with a bunch of miracle. Being loved, perhaps, is the happiest time for him. Yet, the love did not go like the way they dreamt of. At the first time, the girl’s parents couldn’t accept a young Bataknese man in their daughter’s life. As true Chinese, they only wanted Chinese male for her. But, slow but sure, the girl’s parents started to open their heart for my friend. It is beautiful, isn’t it?

My friend and his girl thought everything was okay then. But, they were totally wrong. The girl’s parents changed their mind and warned the daughter not to have any contact with her boyfriend. Perhaps, they finally realized that their daughter was so stupid because for million men in this world, she couldn’t find any single Chinese male to be her boyfriend. My friend, later, came to her house, trying to talk to the girl’s parents. He was there for three days. In the first day, he was sent out of the house without any polite words. My friend, then, went to the gas station for staying at night. The second day happened like the first day and ended in the gas station (again). The third day was a bit different. My friend went back to the gas station with a lot of bruise, as the girl’s parents sent a few people to thrash him. The girl couldn’t do anything and gave up.

My friend went back to Salatiga with not only physical wound but also deep-down-pain. But, after all, he said that he did not have any revenge to the girl’s parents. He understood that he couldn’t be Chinese, as the requirement to be accepted. And he still loved the girl so much though she left him for her parents. Yet, my friend asked me, “Is it wrong to be different?”

Yes, is it wrong to be different? Is it wrong to be born as Javanese? Is it wrong to be born as black? Is it wrong to be poor? Is it wrong to work only as labor?

People start to fool their existence because of the differences among them. Of course people are different. Can you imagine if all people in the entire earth have the same white skin, straight hair, black eyes, and pointed nose? Then, how can you differentiate people by their names if they are all the same? People themselves who group themselves into certain groups. Some people proclaim themselves as Bataknese, others are European, another is African, and the others are Chinese. Does the God group human beings into those names?

Perhaps, grouping is a natural character of human beings. But, this character has blinded the strength to use conscience and moral to respect others and to see others as human beings, in stead of animals. Being certain tribe or race is a big proud, making people consider other tribes or races are only a single dot among the lines. Earning much money is like earning everything in the earth, making people think that they can do anything to others. Staying at certain social status seems like being the best people in the world.

People tend to attach certain label to others by using the measurements that are based on the silly things. It often happens when meeting somebody else, the questions will be “Where do you work?”, “Where are you from?”, “Are you Javanese?”, “What subject are you taking?”. And, when the answers are “I work in a small company next to my house”, “I am from Klaten”, “No, I am not Javanese. I come from Flores”, “I am studying literature”, people will just be silent. It is different when the answers are “I work at Telkom”, “I am from Jakarta”, “I am half-Javanese and half-German”, “I am studying Medical”. I believe people will be amazed.

Such labels have neglected the ability to see others as a figure that is not only an individual with his or her character, but more as human beings.

I guess, Christmas always reminds us to relfect what we have done for the whole year, especially how we have been with others. Have we given them the best smile, the true friendship, and the warmest hand? Or, perhaps, we only gave them disasters? Is calling somebody in the middle of the night continually okay? Is terrorizing somebody else using so many numbers and names okay? Is commenting others negatively okay?

We are human beings. Act like human, treat others as human.

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