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Posts Tagged ‘social support’

All of us have difficult times. None of us would live the fairy tale –to live happily ever after. Problems are everywhere. Even more, before we can solve one, another might come already. Indeed, this is my opinion, yet I am not sure someone would doubt it.

Our instinct always leads us to find ways to survive. Instantly, we would look for solutions. We would strive. But, inevitably, problems come without permission. Sometimes, it feels like we face a never-ending-problem.

Instantly, whenever we are in that condition, we would need encouragement. We looked for supports. We need someone, ears and shoulders. Logically, it is acceptable to burst out whenever we are in an under pressure situation.  Normally, we need to let it out and –might be– loud.

Natural but exceptional.

There were times when we really want to be comforted by others. Simple words, even the most monotonous could help. Just a short message on your mobile could be valuable too. Try to use applications on social media, opening the fortune cookie, possibly will make us relaxed a little. Anything that can assure us that we are not alone.

That this too shall pass.

However, it seems that this world is getting messier. The people get busier. Public demands more. Colleagues add up occupations. True friends are in demand. It is us, by ourselves. These might be true, but also might only be an illusion. We perceive that they are busy and could not be disturbed. That they need more time for their matters instead of for ours.

Therefore, it creates a dissonant in our minds. We want to be accompanied, we need companion. Yet, we would not want to be seen as additional weights, add more than what the prospect companions have. We need them but we also care with them.

Sometimes, it just feels right to keep all the things by ourselves. Sometimes, we would not want to bother others with our concerns. Sometimes, we just too tired to talk and share. Sometimes, we just want to be accompanied yet feel too tired to explain.

Not because we could cope by ourselves. Not because we are very optimistic. Neither because the problems would fade away by the time. We are also not superhumans. None of those.

Most of the times, we are afraid to be neglected.

We are scared that they would disregard our problems. Abandon our stories. Or worse, take a pity on us. Insolence our dignity.

Baldo by Hector D. Cantu and Carlos Castellanos on 02 Feb 2012 (from http://www.gocomics.com)

Are these ridiculous?

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Hi you! Long time no see! A very common greetings from me, I suppose  J  Busy (pretend to), as always.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I attended a “Regional dialogue on election accessibility for persons with disabilities“. Interesting, right? Nah, do not be too skeptical whenever the word “election” appears. It relates more about human rights instead of politics. Anyway, I would not talk about it further.

Regardless the interesting presentations, unexpectedly, I have met a friend whom I did not in touch with for 2 years; colleagues, whom I did not meet for at least a year; and a person whom I made contact with but never meet in person. This gives a proof that no matter what, the circle among people who work or have interest within specific topic is ain’t that big.

We relate one another, somehow.

However, in the big ballroom of an international four-star-hotel, my eyes could not be helped, to not observe with interest to a person. She is one of the official photographers for the event. Just like what good photographers shall do, she vastly moved capturing moments. She sensed attractive situation. Tried her best to not miss anything.

Indeed. She is “just an ordinary” persistent photographer.

Then, why my eyes did that way? Intuition never failed me.

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On the day of my graduation, one of the speaker had speech that it is extremely important to have community. It means to join good professional association(s). I remember it very well, although until now I still haven’t found the right association yet. There are a few associations on social research or development or similar to those. However, they were overseas. Many interesting associations are even not only based on interest but also restricted in specified geographic areas.

I would not be mind to join one or two of those. But, I am currently seeking for more “local” ones. Either in the regional or the country. It is because I would like to extend my network! To learn from others’ experiences, to hear and share, to associate one another. I still highly value the real discussion although I am grateful with the online ones. I like to put a face on a name! (more…)

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Today is the Indonesian Mothers’ Day. As always, many people in networking sites have proudly updated this as their statuses. It creates the hype of reminder and spirit of its importance. Indeed it is important. Being a mother means you have a profession without time to rest, a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, regardless its huge responsibilities, there is no such training or certificate on how to be a good mother!

As many people say, “You are ready when you are (being mothers)”

 

Mother: Untiring hard-work and perseverance profession (Frank & Ernest - April 27, 1996)

Around a year ago, I have started to realize the reasons behind this Mothers’ Day. My prior university has published a book on it, titled as “The First Indonesian Women’s Congress of 1928“. It is the manuscripts of the conference in old version of Bahasa and English, which apparently I could not find in my home country.

Yes, that congress is the reason behind!

That back to 1928 -82 yeas ago- there was the congress by and for Indonesian Women. By Indonesian Women I am not talking only Javanesse Women. Can you imagine how great it was? Back to 1928, when the women empowerment has not being as famous as now. Indonesia even has not declared their independence from the colonialization. When traditional values and beliefs were strongly impact daily lives, as information were very limited.

Great, isn’t it?!!

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None of us loved to be ignored. None of us would not want to be taken care of. As a being who has been blessed with feelings, we will always looking for comfort and safetiness. We will always seek for love.
We will always seek for affection. I believe this is the foundation in every kind of relationship. So basic.

Whenever we feel be loved, no matter how hard life could be, we will get the courage and strength. No matter how difficult the situation is, love remains. Indeed, the power of love might sounds so patethic. Yet, it so true.
That love can be the reason to live and to die. Love can be the source of laughter, but also the tears.
Double-edged sword.

So, what would happen if we have not feel that we are beloved while we are facing huge problems? What would we feel, think and do? Would we still have the strength to live? The spirit to keep on struggling and fighting? Would we still be sane?

Well, I might not.

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It has been twelve years. Yesterday, I wrote and have published – [hurts, yet ought not to be forgotten] what I saw and experience on that day. I described what were happened on that day, according to me. It is based on my own experiences. Last year, I also have expressed what I think about the same day. The post is in Bahasa that is titled [amnesia kolektif] – collective amnesia. I argue how people and the nation, seem to get used to forget the past. No matter how barbaric, there is a tendency amongst people to ‘let we forget’.

After these years, there is still no further explanation on what really happened according to the government. There was a Joint Fact Finding Team – Tim Gabungan Pencari Fakta. This team tried to get the facts and they even have made recommendations. The report can be attained at Semanggi Peduli. They did it greatly, though they were only given  a three-months working period. They have put the numbers of victims, yet I believe that the iceberg phenomenon does apply. They said that the first-hand-victims were lots of Chinese Indonesians, though were not the only. Lots of loss. Kidnapped people. They have recommended that the government needs to continue the investigation to get details including the real intention and who were responsible. Unfortunately, I have no idea how the government reacts to this report.

I understand that to reveal any barbaric events would be hard as look for a tiny needle in a haystack. I understand that the barbaric events couldn’t be helped as it was – might – highly related with the most current politics situation. The chaotic situation. I understand that it would be harder for the victims to re-open their old wounds. I also understand that there is a myth – including amongst Chinese Indonesians – that people should go forward and forget the past. That no matter how hurts they were, they should move forward, continue their lives.  Indeed, related with the commonly spoken quote: ‘the show must goes on’.  I even could understand, though it would be hard, if the key sources have been died for sometimes. Well, in twelve years, things might have happened.

To reveal the facts, will never be an easy job.Never ever will be. Especially if the facts are in the past. We might see how hard and how long that be needed by historians. So, I couldn’t agree with what I read last two days. There was a Minister who said that ‘it is a bit difficult’ as the reason to ‘no longer look for May riots culprits’.

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Last weekend, I went to the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. It was not for any religious intention or other important things. It was ‘only’ a part of my sightseeing. I’ve heard that it is a historical site and has a unique restaurant. I was lucky as on that day, there was a farmers’ market where I could buy many fresh products.

With respects to other interesting things, I am fond with the restaurant. Lentil as Anything, the LAA. It has uniqueness in lot of aspects. As describes in its website, it is a vegetarian restaurant that is run as a not-for-profit community organization. The customers are not only able to eat as much as they want, but they also have the privilege to pay as much as they can to afford. The money should be put into a treasure box by the customers themselves. The customers are even able to eat in and/or take away the food.  They can stay as long as they want. So, it has more privileges than the all-you-can-eat restaurants.

Even though it is a not-for-profit restaurant without definite fees, it does not mean that the food varieties are limited. The menu has changed for different meals, at least for breakfast and lunch. At least, there were 6 different menus for breakfast and 10 for lunch. There were also home-made cakes. There also ‘standard’ drinks like water, coffee, tea and juice. It has different types of cuisine for different days. As long as I remember the Wednesdays are for the African cuisine, and Saturday for Srilangkan.

The most interesting part is how it has been managed. It runs with the help from many volunteers. Has gained supports not only from individuals’ commitments but also from companies and organizations, and even the local government body. These supports have enabled the restaurant to have five ‘branches’ in Melbourne. I think this fact is amazing. They do not only able to handle the financial challenges [due to pay as you want] and quite extensive supports, but also able to spread the ‘virus’ out.

The individual volunteers have different backgrounds. There were people who ‘just’ love to be involved in social works, or those who have to ‘shape’ their resumes with voluntary works. But there were also those who really want to pay it forward or ‘pay their debts’. From the website, the LAA wants to help those in need. Not only for food, but also those who need social supports.

It provides a place for over a hundred new migrants, refugees, people with disabilities and long-term unemployed to build confidence, gain skills and receive assistance with access to legal, health, housing and education services. In addition to running the sites, we provide crisis accommodation, English tutoring, counselling services, legal advice, homework assistance, and driving lessons.

Even if we have not read that descriptions, we can see how hard the lives of those who were there. As examples, there was a young lady and mid-aged couples who seem have difficulties to smile. There were other volunteers, who smiled and laughed. Yet, the gloomy and sadness were still there. I believe that face is like a canvas, and the person has painted her/his past experiences. Indeed, the past would not directly foretell the future. Fate is in our hands, with GOD’s grace. But the role of the past could not be denied. I have no idea how to define how I have sensed that way. Maybe it likes how we can differentiate the never-been-poor from the never-been-rich people, even if they dress in exactly the same way.

Greater than that, I admire the solidarity amongst them. Even if they ‘work’ for different reasons, they have the same goal. They are not only support one another, but have created a community, a social circle. It might be too early to claimed the LAA as a proof of succeeded community development, I believe that it can be an example for how great the impacts of social support is. The LAA has initiated the community engagements.

To give hope to the hopeless.

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