Kebaikan hari ini

Setiap malam -kalau tidak lupa atau keburu tidur- saya sering bertanya kepada Hikari: What good things have you done today?
Jawaban Hikari bisa bermacam-macam. Dari mulai membereskan pensilnya di kelas sampai membujuk adik TK untuk tidak menangis.

Tapi jujur aja, kalau Hikari balik bertanya kepada saya, belum tentu saya bisa menjawab…

Hari ini saya melihat kebaikan yang dilakukan seorang kakek di pinggir jalan di depan kantor Telkom Prumpung. Seorang kakek yang hendak berjalan ke arah halte mendapati seorang tuna netra yang akan menyeberang. Pada kondisi pagi itu, menyeberang jalan bagi orang dengan penglihatan normal pun akan jadi misi antara hidup mati. Apalagi bagi seorang tuna netra.

Si kakek tadi berjalan melewati laki-laki tuna netra. Baru beberapa langkah, kakek itu berbalik. Dia mendekati laki-laki itu. Sedetik kemudian, tangan si kakek menggenggam erat lengan laki-laki tuna netra dan menggandengnya sampai selamat ke ujung jalan yang satu lagi.

Kakek-kakek membantu seorang laki-laki tuna netra.
Kemana kah manusia lain yang lebih pantas membantu?
Kemana kah saya? Saya berada di dalam mobil. Yang saya bisa lakukan hanya memperhatikan mereka.

Kebaikan apa yang sudah saya lakukan hari ini?
*sigh*
Mungkin hanya dengan ikhlas memberi jalan kepada seorang pengemudi Avanza silver yang tiba-tiba menyalip tanpa lampu sen ke depan saya sehingga membuat saya harus berhenti mendadak. Saya tidak menyumpah-nyumpah hari ini.

Ngambek

Kalau Hikari lagi kumat moody-nya, dia akan mulai cari-cari lawan berantem. Tentu saja yang terprovokasi adalah -urutan pertama- si Papap. Kalau ada Eyang Kung, urutan kedua ya Eyang Kung. Lalu setelah itu Eyang Uti. Saya? Gaya nyari lawan Hikari tidak mempan untuk saya.

Hikari: Aku bosan! Aku mau pergi berpetualang saja.
Papap: Kemana?
Hikari: Ke hutan! Aku bosan!
Papap: Hutan mana?
Hikari: Ya, ke hutan! Kamu dengar tidak aku tadi bilang ke hutan? (nada tinggi)
Papap: Iya, Papap dengar! Papap kan tanya ke hutan mana?! (nada tinggi juga)
Saya: Penting ya, Be? (sambil ngeloyor)
Biasanya setelah itu ada adegan Papap ngomel dan Hikari mewek.

Walau sudah pake acara sahut-sahutan dengan si Papap, Hikari biasanya belum mau mengalah.
Hikari: Aku mau bawa bajuku. Semuanya! Aku mau bawa baju ditaruh di kain. Terus aku pasang kainnya di kayu. Aku mau ke hutan!
Papap: Nih, Papap kasih uang buat naik angkot ke hutan.
Hikari: mewek

Biasanya setelah itu, saya melotot ke Papap, lalu meraih tangan Hikari dan mengajaknya jalan keliling blok walaupun hari itu sudah larut malam sekalipun. Biasanya dia akan berjalan dengan manyun, ngomel, nendang-nendang batu, sampai lari kencang meninggalkan saya. Setelah manyunnya hilang, dia akan balik lagi mencari saya yang masih berjalan santai lalu… memeluk saya erat-erat. Pemandangan yang biasanya dibalas Papap dengan ledekan sirik… karena saya enggak pernah mau dipeluk Papap kalau lagi jalan-jalan di sekitar rumah…

Beda Hikari, beda Papap.
Kalau Papap sedang ngambek -yang datangnya seperti tahun kabisat: 4 tahun sekali- saya malah pasang tampang jengkel. Soalnya, Papap kalau ngambek itu belagak diam. Kalau ditanya, jawabnya sepotong-sepotong. Kalau disindir ngambek, enggak mau ngaku. Akhirnya, saya malah balik ngomel. “Ya sudah! Terserah kamu ajah!” adalah kalimat sakti saya. Setelah itu, biasanya Papap menyerah dengan mengeluarkan kalimat dua potong.

Kalau saya yang ngambek?
Pilih jawaban di bawah ini:
a) Diam seribu bahasa selama beberapa hari
b) Marah-marah
c) Nangis
d) Semua yang ada di atas. Serius lo?!
e) ……. (isi sendiri)

When I’ve had enough understanding…

Life doesn’t always treat us nicely…. Let me revise that. People don’t always treat us nicely. But I am fine with that. I am not always nice to people, either.

It is a different case with fairness, though. I have this naive concept that as long as people are fair I am okay with them being not so nice. In just one week, I found out that the two adjectives were inseparable.

I was involved in an incident recently. Even at that time, I didn’t expect people to be nice about it. I did -though- expect them to demand some explanations. They didn’t. While explanation might clear some misunderstanding and would surely put things in perspective, these people behaved like they preferred to not-understand and thus be unfair. Still surprises me until now.

Between feeling confused watching some grown-ups preferred being immature and feeling outrageous watching unfairness displayed, I remember that life is all about making choices. Their choice of behavior broke my heart in pieces but I have to respect their choice. The moment I realized that, I saw no point of turning back. I knew I had to part with them.

The Philosophy of Oleh-Oleh

Have you ever been sent by your office to work out of town or even abroad, and when you returned to the office after that assignment the first words coming from the first person who met you was, “what did you bring me?”

Oleh-olehnya manaaaaaaa?

I just arrived at the office this morning after 12 days away and the first greeting I heard was exactly, “what did you get for me.”

I was about to say, “nothing,” but then I managed to stop opening my mouth, take a deep breath, smile, and… say nothing. Some minutes later, a different person approached me with the same question…

People stopped asking me that question after 4 PM passed. That’s the time when working hours are over, of course. To tell you the truth, but don’t tell my colleagues, I was about to do something when the third person came and asked me. But, today is my first day at the office again and some wise men say you should be nice and sweet to people on your first day at work. So, I said nothing and let the rest of the office population live and in one piece.

My mom, who is so wise and thoughtful, always says it’s in the blood. Our Indonesian blood. Anyway, my mom says bringing souvenirs from wherever you are from shows how caring you are as a person. I can counter my mom’s theory but again some wise men say you are cursed if you dare arguing with your own mother.

According to my mom, bringing souvenirs for your friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, your children’s teachers, your children’s friends’ parents mean…

1. You are a caring person because you always remember them even when you are away from them and busy with your assignment and you should have focused on your work but not them.

2. You are a thoughtful person because you make time to choose what souvenir for which person and which person hates which person so you shouldn’t give that person similar souvenir as this person.

3. You are a generous person because you are willing to spend your out-of-town-working allowance to buy souvenirs for your friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, your children’s teachers, your children’s friends’ parents, etc.

4. You are a fair person because you make sure everyone who knows you get a souvenir.

5. You are loved because people are willing to knock at your office door and ask for their share of souvenir. If you are hated, they will not do that.

6. You are also a loving person because you value people over money. You are okay with spending cash for the smiles on the face of your friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, your children’s teachers, your children’s friends’ parents, etc.

7. You are friendly because you have a lot of friends (a lot of underlined, bold, italicized) asking for their share of souvenir.

8. You are likable because you like to give away souvenirs and people like a person who likes to give away souvenirs.

9. You are popular. Giving away souvenirs to the world’s population surely makes you popular. If you are not still, there is something wrong with the souvenirs you bought. Sorry.

10. …………………………………. (go ahead and have your own philosophy here!).

The Science of Unhappiness

We -my friends and I- were sitting there, at the back of the room, behind hundred of conference participants, listening to an ELT figure talking about being a teacher while being happy. We -my friends and I- are teachers with additional work, and so we were supposed to be happy too.

The presentation was the last session of the day, and the day was the last day of the event. That means we -my friends and I- were at the end of a couple of months, and weeks, and hours of mental deprivation. Please reread and underline if necessary the words: a couple of months, and weeks, and hours.

Then, it was only normal that when we finally finished the day, we decided to go out in the middle of the night to take a walk. We thought taking a walk could release us from stress and as a result we were cured from our mental deprivation. Of course, we thought wrong. And by the end of the walk, we realized that we had been unhappy too long to be cured by a one-hour motivational speech.

So, instead of feeling sorry for our unhappy state, we came up with the Science of Unhappiness. We might not be happy people but at least we have a brain like a rocket scientist’s.

The Science of Unhappiness

by the six of us

  1. Unhappy people are pessimistic. And it is good to be pessimistic because it means we don’t exaggerate things. It keeps people in perspectives.
  2. Unhappy people are sharp. They never overlook small mistakes.
  3. Unhappy people are motivated people because they are driven by anger, hatred, revenge, and bad experiences.
  4. Unhappy people always find ways for improvement because they are not easily forgiving.
  5. Unhappy people are sensitive to comments, opinions, inputs, suggestions, etc. Being sensitive makes unhappy people perfectionists. And the best people at work are the perfectionists.
  6. ……………. (fill in the blank with your sentences)

Define Me

How do you define your friends?

By how good they look? How nice they are to you? How patient they are toward you? How hard they work? How sharp they are when they think? How brave they are when they speak? How loyal they are to you?

Tell me how you want to define your friends. And I’ll tell you if I want to be your friend.

Hikari dan konsep menabung

Ada banyak cara bagi Hikari untuk mendapatkan rejeki. Mengaji bener sedikit, dia dapat limaribu. Latihan karate bagus sedikit, dia dapat lima ribu. Cium pipi Eyang Kakung sedikit, dia dapat sepuluh ribu. Pijet-pijet Eyang Uti sedikit, dia dapat duapuluh ribu.

Malam ini Hikari kembali dapat limabelas ribu dari Eyang Uti karena sudah mencium pipi Eyang Uti kiri dan kanan. Uang itu langsung dikasih ke Mama. Kata Hikari uang itu untuk main kartu Animal Kaiser di mall. Mendengar itu, papap langsung komentar.

Papap: Hikari, uangnya dikumpulin dong. Tadi kan baru aja bilang mau beli buku.

Hikari: Kan uangnya cuma limabelas ribu. Bukunya kan enampuluh ribu. Uangnya cuma cukup untuk main Animal Kaiser.

Mama: Makanya dikumpulin. Kan kalau dikumpulin, sedikit-sedikit lama-lama…?

Hikari: Lama-lama dibawa ke BNI.

Another Soul Wasted

Saya harus menginjak rem dalam-dalam saat menyetir mobil di jalan tol tepat di Interchange Cawang arah TMII sore tadi. Seorang laki-laki kumal bertelanjang kaki berjalan pelan di sisi paling kanan jalan tol. Dia tidak menoleh sedikit pun ketika dalam sekejap suara klakson dari beberapa mobil menjerit kencang melihat dia.

Dari kaca spion, saya melihat dirinya termangu di pinggir pembatas jalan tol.  Di tangannya ada kantong plastik kresek berisi buntalan. Wajahnya masih terlalu muda dan badannya masih terlalu kuat untuk menjadi seorang… gembel?

Mungkin saya sedang terlalu sensitif. Maksud saya, berpuluh tahun menjadi warga kota Jakarta asli, saya sudah terbiasa melihat pengemis, pemulung, gembel, orang-orang gila tergerus kerasnya hidup, anak-anak kecil pengamen… lalu kenapa sore ini berbeda?

Mungkin karena wajah linglungnya. Atau mungkin karena pundaknya yang seperti memikul beban berat. Mungkin juga karena ketidak relaan saya melihat seorang lagi anak manusia menjadi tersia-sia.

Hidup hanya sebentar. Dunia tidak akan ada selamanya. Saya tak sanggup melihat laki-laki itu menjadi korban kehidupan dalam usia yang terlalu muda. It’s like seeing a soul born wasted. It’s just not right.