Tuesday, October 27, 2009

VJ#45/X/2009 : About "Alay" and Ophi A. Bubu

Dear my Blogs Reade,
udah Lama sekali saya tidak menulis di Blog ini. Terakhir saya menulis adalah di pertengahan Bulan Juni. Hm, lama sekali ya. Saya mohon maaf ya apabila tulisan saya jadi tidak terupdate lagi, namun sekaligus mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua pembaca setia, dengan segala komentar, saran, masukan, pertanyaan, dan diskusinya :)
Semoga dengan semua itu saya jadi termotivasi untuk rajin menulis kembali. Semangaat..

Untuk postingan kali ini, sesuai judul, saya mau membahas mengenai fenomena bahasa "Alay" dan juga Ophi A.Bubu (ini adalah nama seorang remaja yg dijuluki, atau lebih tepat dibullying dengan labeling, "Queen of Alay oleh pnghuni jagat maya). Namun tulisan ini bukan tulisan yg saya buat sendiri, melainkan sebuah artikel yang dimuat oleh "Jakarta Post" dengan memberikan kesempatan kepada saya sebagai salah satu narasumber. terima kasih kepada sahabat saya Gariet dan Dian Kuswandini :)

Semoga artikel ini bisa memberikan pencerahan kepada kita semua bahwa jagat maya bisa menjadi "berbahaya" bila kita menggunakannya secara kurang bijaksana.

Well, happy reading and Please leave your comments :)

Artikel itu :

Messing with letters
Dian Kuswandini , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 10/28/2009 9:40 AM | Features

Tribute: Although several fan pages for Ophi A. Bubu still exist, others were reportedly banned by Facebook because of the vulgar messages posted attacking Ophi. facebook.com

“JuD9e mE aLL y0u wAnT, jUSt keEp tHe VeRdiCt t0 y0uRsELf.”

When you see text written in this kind of style, you think: (a) That’s cool. (b) Whoever wrote that should be shot, or have their fingers broken. (c) So what? If that’s the writer’s style ...
If your answer is (b), then you could be part of a growing club whose members use the word “alay” to refer to — or mock — anyone who types using a mix of upper and lower case letters and numbers.

The word alay has no exact meaning or obvious derivation; it seems to have come out of nowhere.

However, it refers to something “tacky” and “cheesy” (norak or kampungan, in Indonesian). Alay is used to describe, critically, how certain people dress (like fashion victims), what kind of music they listen to (usually fans of Malay-sounding bands like ST 12, Wali or Kangen Band) and how they write things (they try to make words sound “cuter”, like replacing “home” with “humzz”).

What’s more, they mix up the upper and lower case letters.

An example of this last case is young Ophi A. Bubu, who became a popular target of people irritated by her preference for playing with her letters.

Ophi who?

Ophi A. Bubu. The high school student from Banyuwangi of East Java, who says she was born in 1991, shot to fame in the virtual world for her postings on her Facebook page.

Her name is getting mentioned in blogs and forums everywhere — all of them discussing her writing. Not because her notes are so great, but because they’re in “code”. For example:

Lost in translation: Although the “alay” text generator enables visitors to the page to convert conventional text into mixed-letters writing, in a parody of language translation websites, it was designed to make fun of alay followers. alaygenerator.co.cc
cXnK qMoh tO cKiDnAAAAaaaAaAaaaa……(Translation: Sayang kamu tau sakitnya / Honey, do you know how much that hurts?)
m_tHa apOn YoH……………
(Minta ampun ya / Please forgive me)
qoH tLuZ”aN uCHA bWaD tTeP qEqEUh cXnK qMo……….
(Aku terus terusan berusaha buat tetep kekeuh sayang kamu / I keep on trying to love you)
bUD….. (But)
cIa” adJA………………… (Sia sia aja / It’s useless)

So, quite simply, Ophi has become famous for making writing even harder to read than the scrawl of any doctor.

Nevertheless, her approach to writing attracted a lot of attention, with some people reproducing her writing in forums and blogs, and others wanting to be her friends in Facebook.

All this was too much love in the eyes of those who despised her writing style and made fun of her. Her detractors took to writing nasty messages on Ophi’s page, mocking her and labeling her “the Queen of Alay”.

This kind of bullying was too much for Ophi, who had nearly 4,000 Facebook friends in the middle of the month. She deactivated her Facebook account.

Although some of her supporters defended her by setting up fan clubs in Facebook and Twitter, Ophi has never been heard from since.

The Ophi phenomenon raises questions, about writing and our response to it: Is messing with agreed writing conventions socially acceptable, or is it something utterly annoying that should be stopped?
While some of us — let’s admit it — would agree with the latter, psychologist Arya Verdi Ramadhani takes us below the surface.

“I can understand why people are so annoyed by her,” says Arya, who has followed the Ophi phenomenon during the past few months. “The thing is, Ophi doesn’t only mix letters; she also misspells many words.”

Talk of the town: Blogs and forums discuss Ophi’s style of writing, with her mixture of symbols, upper case and lower case letters, and numbers. natasyadenaya.tumblr.com
Arya believes the writing of Ophi and her ilk emerged following trends in SMS language and instant messaging (IM), where, for example, the letter “E” is replaced with “3” and “g” with “9”. Homophones also came to be used, where “gr8” means “great”, for example.

“It then continued with the trend of Friendster, a social site that truly supports people in expressing themselves,” Arya says.

The combination of these trends, he adds, brought the alay phenomenon to the scene, making it a wider issue for discussion.

“The alay phenomenon came on the scene about one or two years ago,” Arya says.

“Forgive me for saying this, but it refers to someone from a kampung [village] who’s experiencing culture shock when he or she comes to a big city like Jakarta.

“That person dresses up in what he or she thinks is ‘trendy’, while in the eyes of others [urbanites], that attire is truly in bad taste.”

On a wider scale, Arya adds, the term alay encompasses people like Ophi who think that messing with letters is a trend to follow.

A similar trend is taking place in Japan, where the term gyaru-moji is used to refer to a style of obfuscated Japanese writing popular among Japanese youth, which started to gain media attention around 2002. It is also called heta-moji — heta means poor (in handwriting). As with SMS language, a message typed in gyaru-moji usually requires more characters and effort than the same message typed in conventional Japanese.

Because of the extra effort and the perception of confidentiality, sending gyaru-moji messages to a friend is seen as a sign of informality or friendship.

In Indonesia, however, this “messing with letters” style of writing is attracting more criticism.

“Perhaps we see it as something wrong or cheesy,” says Arya. But those who adopt the writing style, he adds, “they think that mixing letters is something cool. They think that they can appear cute and unique by doing that.”

And so when it comes to teenagers such as Ophi, this style of writing signifies a search for identity.

“It’s normal that in their adolescent phase, these young people want to express themselves in various ways,” Arya explains.

“For example, from the way they speak or dress, or the way they follow the latest trends like BlackBerrys or Facebook.”

Or choosing a certain type of writing style.

But what does it say about a person?

This trend, he points out, is something very peculiar to the computer age: Even graphology — the study and analysis of handwriting in relation to human psychology — can’t really explain this phenomenon.

“Usually, we apply graphology to Latin cursive [handwriting],” Arya says. “Graphology analyzes the thickness of the letters, as well as their positions and slant.”

Theoretically, he says, someone who loves to write in large letters can be seen as someone who’s confident and extrovert. Those who write in small letters can be seen as introverted and shy.
The alay phenomenon, Arya adds, cannot be addressed in the same way.

“Besides, it’s typing, not handwriting.”

One person who chooses this style of typing is 25-year-old Fitriyu (not her real name), who says she has been messing with letters since she was in high school.

“At first, I saw my friends doing it, and I just followed them because I thought it was creative!” says the writer for a local teen magazine.

“Then SMS came along, as well as Facebook, so I got used to that [writing style] even more.”

Fitriyu plays down any notion that the writing style is annoying, saying, “I just want to make my [typed] writing look less boring. It’s kind of part of my identity, too.”

Interestingly, Fitriyu says that writing in messed-up letters can sharpen the writer’s — and reader’s — brain and creativity.

“How can you say that people who write in messed letters are stupid?” she says.

“They’re genius! Just imagine being able to type quickly that way so consistently. Isn’t that like a brain exercise?” she laughs, adding that her preference doesn’t affect her professional work as a writer.

“I know when I should use that writing style and when I should not.”

On that point, Dr. Sugiyono of the Education Ministry’s Language Center, agrees, saying you can’t judge someone without knowing the context.

“If it is for a creative reason, then go ahead,” says Sugiyono, head of the center’s Language and Literature Development division. “But if it’s for education, for example — then you know the rule: It’s not allowed.”

Neither is he bothered by any long-term effects on youth.

“I do believe that many of our high-ranking officials here in this country used to be that way too [when they were young],” Sugiyono laughs.

“It’s something that will disappear as they grow up; so don’t worry.”

Arya agrees with Sugiyono.

“Just admit it: Many of us used to be like that back in our younger days, right?” he says.
“So, please, don’t bully people like Ophi. When you’re rude to her, mock her or label her with ‘alay’, that’s bullying.”

Virtual bullying can be really psychologically harmful, Arya says, because, in the virtual world, people tend to be more expressive than they would be in person; they love to laugh at others and love to make fun of anything. And the audience is much wider.

“When it happens in the virtual word, everyone can see it because it’s a shared public space,” he says.

“In the case of Ophi, she’s been massively attacked; she just couldn’t defend herself.

“Just imagine if you were her, if you were the target of gossip among of your friends,” he adds.

“Ophi might be really stressed and might do something dangerous, like suicide. Would you be responsible for that?”

So, as Arya suggests, just keep “your annoyance” against alay people, or more precisely, those who mess with letters, to yourself or your circle of closed friends.

ps : The word alay has no exact meaning or obvious derivation; it seems to have come out of nowhere. However, it refers to something “tacky” and “cheesy” (norak or kampungan, in Indonesian).

Sumber : http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/28/messing-with-letters.html

Friday, June 5, 2009

VJ#44/VI/2009 : Meraih Kebahagiaan

Meraih kebahagiaan nampaknya menjadi satu tujuan hidup bersama bagi semua manusia di dunia. Wujud dari kebahagiaan ini begitu abstrak dan relatif. Abstrak karena kita tidak bisa melihat secara kasat mata wujud dari kebahagiaan tersebut. Hal yang dapat kita lihat hanyalah efek dari kebahagiaan tersebut. Sedangkan relatif karena kebahagiaan menurut satu individu, belum tentu kebahagiaan menurut individu yang lain. Selain itu, kerelativan juga muncul dalam usaha untuk meraihnya. Untuk dapat mencapai kebahagiaan tidak akan sama per individu. Sebagai contoh, bagi sebagian individu mempunyai banyak teman bisa berarti kebahagiaan,namun tidak cukup untuk sebagian individu lainnya. Mempunyai jabatan tinggi, baik di institusi maupun di masyarakat, dapat menimbulkan kebahagiaan bagi mereka yang menikmatinya, namun bagi sebagian lain mungkin dianggap biasa saja. Semua itu dapat terjadi karena di pikiran masing-masing individu telah terbentuk “arti” dari kebahagiaan bagi diri sendiri, yang sedikit banyak dipengaruhi oleh faktor lingkungan, pola asuh orang tua, pendidikan, dan sebagainya.
Di tengah “rasa kebahagiaan” yang dianggap subjektif dan personal tersebut, seorang psikolog dari University of California, Sonja Lyubomirsky, mencoba memberikan tips universal dalam usaha pencapaian kebahagiaan dalam hidup, yang didapat dari hasil penelitian yang ia lakukan. Berikut tips yang ia berikan:

1. Hitunglah rasa Syukur Anda
Salah satu cara untuk melakukan ini adalah dengan membuat “Jurnal Terima Kasih” yang di dalamnya anda dapat menulis hal-hal yang membuat anda bersyukur, dari yang paling sederhana (masih diberi kenikmatan dapat datang tepat waktu ke kantor) hingga ke hal yang luar biasa (seperti saat melihat anak anda melakukan langkah pertamanya). Lakukan ini satu kali dalam seminggu, misal pada saat Minggu Malam. Isilah jurnal ini sebanyak yang mungkin anda isi. Lalu sempatkan untuk membaca berulang-ulang jurnal tersebut. Hilangkan rasa khawatir bahwa anda akan mengisi jurnal tersebut dengan hal-hal konyol, karena tidak ada yang konyol dalam menghargai sesuatu :)

2. Berbuat baik kepada orang lain.
Berbuat baik lah dari yang kecil dan sederhana, seperti memberikan senyuman kepada rekan kerja, sampai kepada hal yang membutuhkan usaha lebih, seperti membantu rekan kerja yang kesulitan menyelesaikan laporan yang telah mendekati tenggat waktu. Bersikap baik kepada orang lain, dengan teman maupun dengan orang yang tidak anda kenal, menimbulkan suatu efek positif pada diri anda—membuat anda merasa menjadi orang yang murah hati, membangun hubungan yang positif dengan orang lain, membuat anda tersenyum, dan membuat anda berpotensi mendapatkan kebaikan dari orang lain pula. Menyenangkan bukan?

3. Ingat Hal Menyenangkan
Berikanlah perhatian kepada hal-hal menyenangkan yang terjadi di sekeliling anda setiap hari, sekecil apapun. Seperti hangatnya sinar matahari di pagi hari atau saat rekan kerja anda memberikan senyuman atau sapaan. Lalu simpanlah kejadian-kejadian tersebut di ingatan anda. Beberapa psikolog menyatakan bahwa dengan mengambil “mental photographs” dari suatu kejadian meyenangkan dapat membantu anda merasa lebih bahagia.

4. Berterimakasihlah
Jika ada seseorang yang telah membantu anda, dalam hal sekecil apapun, jangan menunda untuk memberikan apresiasi anda terhadap orang tersebut- secara detail dan, bila memungkinkan, secara personal. Ungkapkanlah dan biarkan orang tersebut tahu bahwa anda sangat menghargai bantuannya.

5. Belajar untuk Memaafkan.
Lepaskan amarah anda. Misal dengan menuliskan surat berisikan pemberian maaf kepada orang-orang yang telah menyakiti atau berbuat salah terhadap anda. Ketidakmampuan untuk memaafkan menjadikan anda sebagai orang yang pendendam, sedangkan memaafkan berarti memberikan jalan untuk melanjutkan hidup anda dan memperkuat hubungan interpersonal. Besar uang yang anda hasilkan, jabatan yang anda miliki, dan kesehatan-- secara mengejutkan-- mempunyai efek yang lebih kecil terhadap kebahagiaan dibandingkan apabila anda mampu menjalin hubungan interpersonal yang baik dan kuat dengan orang lain.

7. Jagalah tubuh anda.
Masih segar di ingatan saya dalam suatu pengajian rutin pada Jumat pagi di perusahaan tempat saya bekerja, pemberi ceramah menyebutkan “nikmat yang paling tinggi di dunia ini adalah nikmat sehat Wa’alfiat”. Tahukah anda bahwa kesehatan juga membantu kita dalam mencapai kebahagiaan? Penelitian juga membuktikan bahwa berolahraga secara teratur dapat membuat kehidupan sehari-hari anda lebih memuaskan
Tidurlah yang cukup, berolahraga, dan lakukan peregangan setiap hari sebelum beraktivitas. Selain itu, tersenyum dan tertawa juga dapat membantu meningkatkan mood anda dalam waktu singkat. Jadi jangan lagi beralasan tidak ada waktu untuk berolahraga.

8. Kembangkan Strategi Untuk Mengatasi Stres
Masing-masing orang mempunyai cara masing-masing untuk mengatasi stress yang menghampiri. Anda bisa melakukan hobi anda di akhir pekan, berkumpul bersama keluarga, atau sekedar menonton televisi di rumah. Apabila ada berada di tempat kerja, sebagian orang melepas stress dengan cara berdoa kepada Tuhan, memberikan istirahat ekstra 10 menit untuk diri sendiri, dan banyak hal lain. Apapun yang anda pilih, The trick is that you have to believe them. Ya, percaya dengan sungguh-sungguh bahwa hal yang anda lakukan tersebut dapat menghilangkan stress yang anda alami,

Tips-tips di atas tentu sudah seringkali anda dapatkan, baik diberikan oleh teman maupun anda baca melalui berbagai artikel. Lalu apa bedanya?
Memang tidak ada bedanya, dan tidak akan pernah berbeda, selama anda tetap TIDAK MENJALANKANNYA..
Jadi mari kita buat perbedaan dengan menjalankannya mulai dari sekarang :)
Sukses untuk kita semua.

(Ikutilah kuis singkat di bawah ini)

Hitunglah kebahagiaan anda!
Seberapa bahagiakah anda?
Tentu, anda kemungkinan mengetahui kebahagiaan diri sendiri, namun tes ini berusaha memberikan skor terhadap kebahagiaan tersebut. Bacalah 5 (lima) pernyataan di bawah ini, lalu gunakan skor 1-6 untuk menilai level persetujuan terhadap masing-masing pernyataan tersebut.

Keterangan Skor :
1 : Sangat Tidak Sesuai
2 : Tidak Sesuai
3 : Agak Tidak Sesuai
4 : Agak Sesuai
5 : Sesuai
6 : Sangat Sesuai

Pernyataan :
1. Secara garis besar, kehidupan saya mendekati kondisi ideal.
2. Kondisi kehidupan saya amat menyenangkan
3. Saya merasa puas dengan kehidupan saya
4. Sejauh ini, saya telah meraih hal-hal yang penting yang saya inginkan dalan hidup.
5. Jika saya dapat memulai kembali kehidupan saya dari awal, maka saya tidak mau merubah apapun
Skor total _____________
•26 to 30: Sangat Puas dengan kehidupan anda.
•21 to 25: Puas dengan kehidupan anda
•20 : Kondisi netral
•15 to 19: Agak tidak puas dengan kehidupan anda
•10 to 14: Tidak puas dengan kehidupan anda
•5 to 9: Sangat tidak puas dengan kehidupan anda

Sumber : ada pada penulis

Monday, April 13, 2009

VJ#43/IV/2009 : Volunteering

“Volunteers are individuals or groups who give their time, talent and abilities to a cause they believe in, without pay”
(United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Sukarelawan (volunteer) adalah individu atau kelompok yang memberikan waktu, keahlian, dan bakat yang dimiliki pada suatu hal yang mereka yakini, tanpa mendapatkan bayaran apapun atau tanpa mengharapkan kompensasi finansial secara langsung. Menurut beberapa penelitian, orang-orang yang biasanya menjadi seorang sukarelawan adalah orang-orang yang telah separuh baya, memiliki tingkat sosial ekomoni menengah, perempuan menikah yang memiliki tingkat pendidikan di atas SMU dan mempunyai anak yang masih dalam usia sekolah (Gerard, Hettman & Jenkins, dalam Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). Beberapa kegiatan yang dilakukan oleh sukarelawan (volunteering) antara lain partisipasi masyarakat dalam memberikan jasa atau bantuan kepada orang lain secara langsung, kelompok aksi masyarakat, advokasi mengenai suatu masalah, individu maupun kelompok, partisipasi pada kegiatan pemerintah, self-help, dan rentang yang luas pada kegiatan menolong informal (informal helping activities) (Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). Volunteering Australia Inc, sebuah perusahaan pusat untuk kegiatan sukarela di Australia (2005), menyebutkan bahwa dalam kegiatan sukarela aktivitas yang dilakukan bukan untuk organisasi atau proyek yang profit (menghasilkan keuntungan) yang dilakukan dengan beberapa syarat, antara lain untuk menghasilkan keuntungan bagi komunitas masyarakat dan sukarelawan yang melakukannya kegiatan sukarela tersebut, dilakukan oleh sukarelawan atas keinginan sendiri dan tanpa paksaan dari pihak manapun, dan dilakukan bukan untuk mendapatkan pembayaran secara finansial.

Goverment of Alberta (2006) menjelaskan kegiatan sukarela (volunteering) sebagai berikut :
1. Membagi keahlian dan waktu yang dimiliki kepada orang lain tanpa mengharapkan imbalan apapun.
2. Menunjukkan kepedulian kita kepada suatu hal atau orang lain
3. Menunjukkan suatu tanda kedewasaan, yaitu dapat berpikir hal-hal lain selain kebutuhan atau keinginan sendiri.
4. Mengekspresikan kepercayaan dan nilai-nilai melalui jasa atau pelayanan untuk orang lain
5. Meningkatkan well-being diri sendiri melalui memberikan bantuan untuk orang lain.

Melihat penjabaran di atas penulis mengambil kesimpulan bahwa suatu kegiatan dapat disebut sebagai kegiatan sukarela apabila kegiatan tersebut dilakukan sebagai bentuk kepedulian terhadap kondisi orang lain, yang dapat diwujudkan dalam bentuk memberikan bantuan berupa jasa atau layanan, dimana kegiatan tersebut memberikan manfaat tidak hanya pada komunitas masyarakat namun juga individu yang melakukannya. Titik tekan dari kegiatan sukarela adalah bahwa orang yang melakukannya tidak mengharapkan adanya imbalan atas perbuatan yang mereka lakukan tersebut.

Alasan Menjadi Volunteer
Alasan menjadi sukarelawan :
1. Volunteer Motivations Model
Menekankan pada motivasi individu untuk mencapai tujuan sebagai sukarelawan. Penelitian mengungkapkan bahwa masing-masing individu mempunyai motivasi yang berbeda-beda dalam memutuskan untuk menjadi sukarelawan, antara lain untuk mempelajari keahlian-keahlian baru, untuk mengembangkan diri sendiri, untuk meningkatkan harga diri, untuk mempersiapkan karir di masa depan, untuk mengekspresikan nilai-nilai personal dan komitmen terhadap masyarakat, dan untuk mengurangi konflik-ego (Omoto & Snyder, Janoski, Musick, & Wilson, dalam Thoits & Hewitt, 2001).
2. Values and Attitudes Model
Model ini menekankan pada hubungan antara menjadi sukarelawan dengan kepercayaan individu mengenai pentingnya seseorang untuk berpartisipasi dalam kegiatan yang memikirkan kepentingan umum (Janoski; Sundeen, dalam Thoits & Hewitt 2001)
3. Role-identity Model
Model ini menekankan bahwa pengalaman menjadi sukarelawan di masa lalu mengantarkan pada pengembangan “volunteer role-identity”, yang pada akhirnya memotivasi seseorang untuk melakukan aktivitas sukarela di masa depan (Callero; Charng, Piliavin, & Callero, dalam Thoits & Hewitt 2001). Model lain yang berhubungan adalah Group-Identity Model, yang mengatakan bahwa individu memiliki motivasi untuk menolong orang-orang yang secara kolektif mereka anggap memiliki identitas yang sama dengan diri individu tersebut. Contohnya adalah seorang gay yang teridentifikasi dengan komunitas gay akan cenderung membantu orang-orang dengan HIV/AIDS (Simon, Sturmer, & Steffens; Stark & Deaux, dalam Thoits & Hewitt 2001)
4. The Volunteer Personality Model
Faktor kepribadian menjadi motivasi seseorang untuk menjadi sukarelawan. Penelitian yang dilakukan oleh Penner dan Finkelstein (dalam Thoits & Hewitt 2001) menunjukkan bahwa kepribadian prososial memiliki hubungan positif dengan panjang dan lamanya waktu yang diberikan untuk menjadi sukarelawan.
5. The Personal Well-Being Model
Model ini merupakan model yang paling jarang diteliti dibandingkan model lainnya dalam penelitian mengenai sukarelawan. Dalam model ini, karakter kepribadian dan kesehatan mental maupun fisik sebagai sumber yang dibutuhkan untuk dapat terlibat dalam kegiatan sukarela (menjadi sukarelawan). Hal-hal yang termasuk di dalamnya adalah kepercayaan diri, kontrol diri, harga diri, dan memiliki kemampuan untuk memecahkan masalah (Thoits & Hewitt 2001)

Prinsip-Prinsip dan Manfaat Volunteering (Kegiatan Sukarela)
Dalam kegiatan sukarela ada beberapa prinsip yang perlu diberikan perhatian serta manfaat-manfaat yang dapat diperoleh oleh orang-orang yang melakukannya. Adapun beberapa prinsip dalam kegiatan sukarela adalah sebagai berikut : (Govenrment of Alberta, 2006) .
1. Kegiatan tersebut memberikan keuntungan bagi komunitas masyarakat dan sukarelawan
2. Pekerja sukarela tidak mendapatkan bayaran dalam melakukan kegiatan tersebut.
3. Kegiatan sukarela dilakukan atas dasar pilihan sendiri (tanpa paksaan pihak manapun).
4. Kegiatan sukarela bukan sebuah kegiatan wajib yang dilakukan untuk mendapatkan dana pensiun ataupun tunjangan dari pemerintah
5. Kegiatan sukarela adalah sebuah kegiatan yang legal yang masyarakat dapat berpartisipasi
6. Kegiatan sukarela adalah sebuah kegiatan yang dilakukan hanya pada sektor non-profit
7. Kegiatan sukarela bukan suatu subsitusi dari suatu pekerjaan yang mendapatkan bayaran.
8. Sukarelawan tidak menggantikan posisi pekerja yang berbayar ataupun mengancam keamanan kerja dari pekerja yang berbayar
9. Kegiatan sukarela menghormati hak, kehormatan, dan budaya dari orang lain.
10. Kegiatan sukarela mengedepankan hak azasi manusia dan persamaan hak.

Sedangkan beberapa manfaat melakukan kegiatan sukarela yang dapat diraih oleh oleh-orang yang melakukannya, antara lain : (Govenrment of Alberta, 2006)
1. Mendapatkan pengalaman dalam bekerja
2. Menunjukkan keahlian-keahlian yang telah dimiliki sebelumnya sekaligus mempelajari keahlian-keahlian baru
3. Bertemu dengan orang-orang baru dan membuat suatu jaringan yang dapat membantu untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan di masa depan
4. Mencoba (try out) rencana karir yang dipunya dengan bekerja sukarela di bidang yang memang menjadi minat
5. Menunjukkan dan melatih kedewasaan yang berguna saat bekerja dalam perusahaan sesungguhnya
6. Untuk mengeksrpesikan nilai-nilai dan kepercayaan yang dianut
7. Membuat perasaan menjadi lebih baik
8. Merasa lebih percaya diri akan keahlian yang dimiliki
9. Mengubah hal-hal yang diminati menjadi suatu tindakan nyata
10. Membuat perubahan karir
11. Mengekspresikan diri
12. Mengeksplorasi lingkungan sekitar
13. Mengetahui atau mengenali diri sendiri

Bagi orang-orang yang melakukan kegiatan sukarela maka akan mendapatkan berbagai manfaat. Khusus mengenai remaja sukarela maka dengan melakukan kegiatan sukarela maka dapat membantu untuk memenuhi tugas perkembangan sesuai dengan usia mereka. Beberapa tugas perkembangan yang dapat terpenuhi dengan melakukan kegiatan sukarela adalah dalam hal menseleksi dan menyiapkan pekerjaan untuk dirinya, mengembangkan kemampuan intelektual dan konsep yang dibutuhkan dalam masyarakat, dan mencapai hubungan sosial yang baru dan lebih dewasa dengan teman sebaya, baik yang sejenis maupun lawan jenis.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

VJ#42/IV/2009 : Citizenship in Democratic Society

Sudah lama saya tidak menulis di blogs ini. Karena kesibukan, dan juga karena kemalasan. Kangen. Tiba-tiba teringat sebuah essay mengenai masyarakat demokrasi, kewarganegaraan, kepemimpinan dan peran remaja pada tiga hal itu, yang sejatinya saya tujukan untuk sebuah lomba essay. Sungguh sayang apabila essay ini hanya berakhir di folder terdalam dari PC saya. Oleh karena itu, saya ingin membaginya dengan anda para pembaca blogs setia saya.
Selamat menikmati (Dialih bahasa oleh sahabat saya, Sekar Rara) :

As one of the countries supporting democracy in South East Asia, The Republic of Indonesia has indeed a lot of resources that other developed countries would need. Regarding the world trade, Indonesia is strategically located, because it is surrounded by the main two continents (e.g. Asian and Australian), as well as two oceans (e.g. Hindia and Pacific). Following China and India, Indonesia is in the third place having the largest population, which makes this country become the third largest country supporting democracy, and have the largest Moslem citizen in the world. In addition, Indonesia has proudly announced its independency for over 60 years, indicating that Indonesian citizen has had a great amount of opportunities to independently manage their country natural resources. These resources supposedly have been used to satisfy the citizens’ well-being and wealth without any interventions from other countries. However, those amazing facts have not been able to include Indonesia in one of the world most developed countries. Instead, United Nations and all developed countries put Indonesia in the category of developing countries. In other words, the term of “developing country” has been used as a more polite term to explain poor and under-developed countries. Unfortunately, the decision to view Indonesia as a developing country is surprisingly true. Recent facts have shown that the development in the field of economy, education, and technology is far behind its neighbors (e.g. Malaysia and Singapore). The irony can further be well-described by an famous idiom in Indonesia “rat that dies in the middle of rice barn”. To be precise, there are still a lot of very poor people in Indonesia that have not been able to meet their daily needs while in fact, Indonesia has many natural resources. As cited in Antara News website, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the current president of Republic of Indonesia, mentioned that there were still 19.2 milion poor families or about 36.3% of the total population. Similarly, World Bank stated that there were 108 million poor families (about 49% of the total population), and this amount showed the biggest and the worst poverty that has happened in Indonesia since the last 36 years. The government‘s efforts to support economic development have also been delayed due to the increased amount of people having no job, as been stated by one of representatives of Indonesian Parliement (. In 2004, the case of jobless people reached 9.7%, and this number increased to 10.3% in 2005. Work opportunities in Indonesia also showed no positive trends in 2006, because the unemployed people were increasing to 11.1%. In total, there were more than 40 million people had no job at the end of 2006.

Several factors may contribute to the incapability of the Indonesian government to pursue similar progresses in developing the country, as what other countries would do. However, I would mostly like to point out that the primary cause of the poor development is due to the serious cases of corruption that have happened for ages, and have caused some deficits in the Revised National Budget. Additionally, corruption has become the most common thing that Indonesian people do, from those who work in formal institutions (e.g. from government elite to staffs), as well as those who have jobs in other fields (e.g. businessman). The statement was supported by Transparency International (TI) by conducting a survey regarding the measure of corruption level from September-December 2008. In particular, many businessmen in Indonesia were asked about their perceptions whether it was common or not for the government agents in the level of province to perform corruptions. The survey also measured the government’s efforts to seriously fight against corruptions. The results then showed that based on the Corruption Perception Index (IPK) measured in the survey, Indonesia was on the 126th rank from 180 countries, and scored 2.6 points (e.g. scales ranges from 1 = the most corruption cases, to 10 = the least corruption cases). Further, there was only a slight increase from last year, when Indonesia scored 2.3 points in 2007. As cited in Kompas Newspaper dated on the February 25th, 2008, Indonesian Corruption Perception Index (IPK) scored 2.72 points during the last few years in average. Other news from similar resource also cited the facts from Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) that Indonesia was always included in the top-three countries having the most corruption cases for the last 4 years (since 2004).

Therefore, due to the severe actions of corruptions, there are a lot of negative consequences do occur. The most serious problem is that there has been a significant increase in the number of poverty in the last five years. This terrible situation has further failed this government responsibilities stated in the 1945 Constitution of Indonesian Republic to be appropriately executed. Unfortunately, the crisis does not only occur in some under-developed provinces in Indonesia, but also arises in Jakarta, which becomes the capital city of Republic of Indonesia. As the most modern and the biggest city in Indonesia, there still are a lot of people living in terrible poverties. In addition, the number of poor people increased almost double fold when Indonesian global crisis occurred in 1998. Another consequence of the crisis was many children in Jakarta could not continue their studies due to financial reasons. Therefore, these children are inevitably forced to work, which includes becoming newspaper boys, beggars, or doing any other possible informal works. However, at the end of 2008, Indonesian government was still doing some attempts to deal with the children who quit school. In its cooperation with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, Indonesia was given US$113 million or approximately 1.4 trillion Rupiahs for funding the free school programs for these children. In particular, the programs include “Let’s go to school” (“Ayo, Sekolah! “), making school free for everyone. However, those interesting programs have failed to invite the children to study and enjoy the facilities given. The need to get a proper education is indeed lower than the need to support their life and families, so they choose to keep on working instead. As cited in www.ypha.or.id, the number of children quitting their elementary school and junior high school are still high. According to National Education Department, there were 1002 elementary school and 2172 junior high school students that were not able to higher educations in 2006/2007. Additionally, it was found that the main reason for quitting school was because they have to support their family needs. Unemployed and bankrupt parents, as well as children having low interests in education may also contribute to a high number of children giving up their school for informal street jobs.

Given the terrible facts about the problems that Indonesian citizens experience, are there any contributions from young generations to help the country achieve better condition?. Indeed, participations from young people have had play significant roles in many national events that support Indonesia development. Their roles, for example, may be obviously shown in continuous massive supports to achieve Indonesian Independency in 1945, as well as overthrowing the authority of previous president, Soeharto, in 1998. This may happen because there were some believes occuring in public that young generations were seen as the most effective agents of change, as well as the only trusted community agent supporting citizen main privileges. A lot of people indeed put much more hopes to this young generation than the local government in making Indonesia as a better place to live. However, in recent times, there has been a growing pessimism that young generations can no longer be the agents of change. The main reason is that nowadays, many young people become more materialistic and consumptive due to the capitalism attacks in 3F (Food, Fashion, and Films). This tendency was indeed confirmed by the recent surveys conducted by Surindo in 2000, which was investigating the patterns of teenage behaviors in 9 big cities in Indonesia (e.g Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya). The results showed that their living styles were mostly glamorous. Students from various institutions shopping in malls were the participants, and it was found that their behaviors showed more tendencies of ignoring other surroundings, chatting with the same teenagers in big cliques and smoking a lot. These facts are not surprising, considering that these behaviors have become the common teenage styles for the last few years. Additionally, as cited in another source, http://kapmi.tripod.com/artikel/dakwah_sekolah.htm, in the last 10-15 years, teenagers living in big cities in Indonesia have shown more juvenile sexual and social deviances in public. Fighting with other teenagers from different schools and any other kind of deviances exposed by the media has made public have a lot of negative perceptions about teenagers, such as, community perceives that teenagers are now not able to fight for the equity of public privileges, as well as becoming great agents of change for the country. Teenagers are now mostly viewed as young people who love to hanging out with friends in consumptive and materialistic patterns.

Furthermore, pessimistic views about young generations can never be changed or become worse if we, as one of the young people, do not create the changes. Now, it is the time for young generations to show up in the front line in supporting the development of Republic of Indonesia, so they further can give their contributions to the country. They can not only perform several acts of demonstrations on the street, but also perform more concrete actions that can directly make benefits to the community. However, to do such great attempts is not easy, considering the fact that young people are frequently having difficulties to give their constructive opinion to the government. Hence, what is the most effective way to encourage good changes in this country? One of the tangible actions is improving the quality of the education system through establishing independent education institutions. The aim is to share knowledge to students who are not able to study in formal schools, for free. According to National Education Department the number of Non-Government Organization asking permission to create the center of learning activities for students increased significantly from previous years. This learning center is a place that allows any kind of active learning processes to occur, which is managed independently by NGO as one form of community social responsibilities (e.g. from providing facilities, teachers, and ensure the continuity of learning process). It is amazing to know that in fact, the number of such learning center reached 427 in 2007, and they are located in different places in Indonesia. The most importantly, there are 6825 students studying in these independent learning centers. Therefore, as what expected by all principals in this independent institution, those students can learn about formal and moral educations, which further lead to the shaping of good individual behaviors and characters. As a consequence, the number of cases showing moral degradations (e.g. corruptions) is expected to decrease, because these children has been taught not to take something that does not belong to him or her in school. However, there is still one big challenge to run the learning centre independently, considering that government do not give much financial supports. Hence, in order to manage the learning activities to operate smoothly, the organization has to actively promote these activities so they can attract companies (e.g. sponsorships) and other people who want to personally donate.

Moreover, many young people are working in one of those independent learning centers as volunteers. Thoits and Hewiit (2001) defines volunteering as an activity in which someone can give his or her time and skills possessed in performing some tasks or works without expecting any direct financial benefits. Additionally, Volunteering Australia Inc, also states that volunteering means activities that are not performed for profitable organizations or projects. Instead, volunteering includes activities that give benefits to society and the volunteers, and those activities are performed without being forced to do so by others, as well as without any financial compensation. To give a clear explanation about volunteering, I conducted an interview to one of the teenage volunteers in 2008, investigating the reasons to volunteer. She then explained that by volunteering, she was able to practice the way she taught, because she planned to be a kindergarten teacher in the future. She also mentioned that volunteering has given her the ultimate happiness in her life; because by sharing knowledge to others, she could help a lot of poor children achieve their bright future. This could be an interesting point because despite the more patterns of hedonistic behaviors in teenager that has occurred these days, there are still teenagers doing good social activities aiming to help others. Therefore, by doing concrete actions presented above, it is promising to say that all teenagers could give tangible contributions to their country if they have strong wills to do that. One of the most plausible strategies is to show our belongingness to society, or in this case, our citizenship. This may be done by being an active member who always supports any good progresses that happen in his or her own society. As cited in http://josephsoninstitute.org/MED/MED-2sixpillars.html, it is stated that the dimensions of citizenship include sharing with others, wanting to cooperate, encouraging a better school and environment, participating in most community events, as well as physically and socially ensuring the security of one’s own surroundings. Therefore, being a volunteer in an independent learning center has clearly shown that someone or teenager who does it, has already had high sense of citizenship. If a teenager has made contributions to the country, it means that he has had his own future vision and mission about what he expects the society to become in the future. That is to say that he already has got his own strategies to voice and act his opinion without directly seeing the government elite or staff. Regarding this case, we could learn much from the current President of United Stated of America, President Barrack Obama. He could amazingly convince most American people and especially to the world, that he has the greatest vision and mission about how he would view America in the future. Obama starts his jobs as an agent of change in America by asking his citizens to altogether support his programs, as well as supporting many poor people that previously had difficulties in taking benefits from their rights as American citizen. We could also learn from Obama that age does not matter in determining someone’s credibility to be a world leader. It will be more objective to view whether someone is appropriate or not to be a leader by considering the level of one’s integrity, commitment, and how well he personally understands his own people. Therefore, many young people should be confident admitting that they have their own strengths such as competency, integrity, capability, creativity, idealism, and the most importantly, moral commitment as basic skills and knowledge required to develop their country, Republic of Indonesia.

References :

Thoits, Peggy A., & Hewitt, Lyndi N. (2001). Volunteer Work and Well-Being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42, 115-131.

Volunteering Australia Inc. (2005). Definitions and Principles of Volunteering. Australia

http://www.ti.or.id/researchsurvey/90/tahun/2008/bulan/09/tanggal/23/id/3465/ http://www.antara.co.id/arc/2007/7/6/kondisi-indonesia-saat-ini-terburuk-dalam-36tahun/