Setelah menjalani pendidikan di luar negeri, pilihan manakah yang kamu ambil? Apakah untuk tinggal di luar? Ataukah untuk kembali ke tanah air Indonesia? Mahanugra Kinzana, seorang siswa Master di Macquire University, Australia, mengajak untuk ‘hidup bernegara’. Simak ceritanya berikut ini!
As bright Indonesians studying abroad, it is supposed to be natural for us to choose to come home and contribute back to our nation – to come home with a plethora of knowledge, skills, and experience that could be adapted as a catalyst to Indonesia’s long-term development. That said, the current trend shows that this is not always the desired outcome of a study-abroad student.
Instead, what happened now is this: The Indonesian diaspora ideology diminishes as there is an increase in the number of bright Indonesians residing overseas.
Whether to pursue a better life abroad, or to come home, is a matter of choice. Neither is wrong, as long as we behave as good people. We have heard numerous friends expressing desires to gain a couple years of international work experiences before going back home, which is completely fine. We also have heard people wanting to explore the Western hemisphere for a few years’ experiences and coming home afterwards – also profoundly fine. Yet there’s a new emerging view altogether: “Why do we need to go back? Life is way better here. If I can, I would never go back. In Indonesia, there are too much traffic jam, too many problems, and corruptions. Life is ugly!” Now, wait a second. What has happened?
We live in an era where the original diaspora spirit is gradually evaporating. Our ancestors believed in acquiring advanced knowledge from overseas so that they can develop Indonesia into becoming a better nation. Yet subconsciously, we have formed this new westernized/internationalized perspective on how to go on with our life.
I believe one important notion to always have in mind is this: We have gone this far in life, become talented on what we do, able to enjoy luxurious malls in Jakarta, fly in and out to different places by airplanes, and drive around with nice cars because of the hard work that our government had set up to make our lives as pleasant as possible within the Indonesian soil. The support we get from our parents, the wages we receive from our entry-level jobs are in essence derived from the effort of the government in setting up policies, infrastructures, economic blueprints, industries, and many more. Hence, essentially our country has taken part in raising the person we are today. For that, as respectful children to our mother country, we need to, at some point in our lives, use our knowledge and skills to give back to Indonesia, in the domain of our specific expertise.
The Indonesian Golden Generation of 2045: The year where our generation is vital to the national development
In the year 2045, our nation will reach its 100th birthday since the ‘Proklamasi’ addressed by Soekarno-Hatta. It should be the perfect age to become an independent nation – to have a stable economic condition, high welfare index, low poverty rate, highly developed infrastructures, and minimum to none corruption rate, as well as reaching the full potential of our natural resources. But above all, 2045 should be the year where Indonesia manages to convince its children to step up the game and to have internationally competitive local human resources taking care of our country. Reason being is that, we, the people, are Indonesia’s most golden assets. In essence, if we have quality persons taking care of our country, it will bring us prosperity. We already have all the resources to be an independently prosperous nation. We just need a full generation of genuinely sincere children who are willing to devote to take the wheels of development.
On that note, do you know that the government has set some national objectives for 2045? To name a few, they are: 1) To be one of top eight most developed country in global scale by economic welfare, and 2) To suppress the poverty rate to only 10% (year 2012 recorded a rate of 16%, according to Badan Pusat Statistik).
To reach these grand objectives, Indonesia needs catalytic developments in all sectors, including the economy, education, agriculture, tourism, politics, art, social developments, and everything in between. Most importantly, Indonesia needs us to carry on the fight to reach these grand goals.
Indonesia needs our contribution to awaken the giant within. Our nation needs us bright individuals to collectively make Indonesia as a comfortable home for the 238 million people from Sabang to Marauke. Imagine if most of the best minds choose to live and devote their skills elsewhere. What would happen to the sustainability of our nation’s development?
The ideal perspective
What if all young Indonesians, with full awareness, decide to devote their skills and knowledge for reaching the true independence dream of our ‘proklamator’? What if we can make this framework of thinking a new trending perspective? A trend that is as popular as the K-Pop to teenagers, Starbucks to coffee avid, and Hermes Bags to affluent females. A trend that all young Indonesians would look forward and adhere to. The results would be priceless!
Imagine yourself creating meaningful invention for the people, moreover for the next generation – to create something that would contribute as a fundamental for a better Indonesia, just like what our forefathers had visioned. It could be grand, or it could be simple. It all depends on our capacity and the degree of output we want to pour in. The bottom line is this: making a contribution to our country and lifting our national pride can come in any form. No efforts are useless – as every endeavor would mean the world to the people we address it to.
Therefore, if we feel we are good at what we do, aim to build an invention within that specific domain that would matter for making better living condition for people. If you are an engineer, aim to build something that would benefit the people, like the subway trains to enhance the public commuter services. If you are an economist, aim to find the economic rationale behind the high crime rate in Indonesia, and then formulate a breakthrough policy to aid it. If you are a fashion designer, aim to create a landmark design that would be recognized all over the world. If you are a musician, strive to repercussion your music to the other side of the world (frankly speaking, our musicians are seriously capable of that). If you are an architect, dream to build a sea tunnel that would interconnect all main islands, so that economic activity would flow without resistance. If you are an environmental engineer, think of how to vanish the never-ending waste problem in Kali Ciliwung. If you are an agriculture scientist, be the person that makes the comprehensive farming system that would benefit the farmers. If you care about our athletes, invent a talent scout system to find the best potentials out there, so that our children can watch our athletes in future World Cups. If you are an entrepreneur, think to launch a venture that would empower our craftsmen community.
Don’t just think about our own success. Rather, think how we can beat two birds with one stone – benefiting ourselves as individuals, as well as benefiting the nation! Find the roots to our nation’s problems and aim to fix it! With prudent collaboration from all sectors, we surely can hit those 2045 objectives.
If this attitude can really take off, such sincere national devotion, when adapted in a massive scale, would establish a domino effect. People would follow the behavior if it were publicly conveyed. Hence, the more ‘public’ this trend appear, the likelier a wider set of people would adapt the spirit. The more people do this, the more it will become endowed as our root values.
Come home, my friend
It may hit our mind, that doing so is easier said than done. Many factors come in play in the pursuit of this new perspective. But hey, think of it this way. Soekarno, Hatta, and all our forefathers, did not get us freedom from the colonies by just strolling in the park. They gave in everything they had! They shed tears, blood, and sweat to get us the Indonesia we have now. Thus, it is our duty to sustain and complete the mission. It is our fight to make this nation to top the world. So come home and contribute.
Sooner than imagined, our generation will be senior citizens. We will be the seniors of Indonesia. There is a great chance that many of us, later, would play a central role in Indonesia’s holistic development. For that, what we can contribute in the short-run is thinking about the free trade agreements that let a strong stream of foreigners to occupy the job market and economic productions inside Indonesia. Is this a new wave of colonization? Is this what they call a more subtle way to crawl under our skins? The implications are that foreigners are going to come along with their foreign companies, crushing the local companies run by us, and get out of the country with substantial profits generated from our people, while we would only get a tiny portion of wealth out of it.
Whatever they call it, we need to stand our grounds, albeit, is not a simple job. We need to step up our game in all sectors. Show them we can perform in our own land. Make them see us as worthwhile in our own soil. Make them think dozens of times before dueling with us. Tell the world that these bright minds are ready to be the change agents of this great nation.
Show them what we really got!
All in all, it is all a matter of choice of life. Although, to weigh in what our country has done for us, makes it ideal to make a verbatim contribution to our mother country. After all, we are the Golden Generation of Indonesia. By 2045, most of us will be aged 40 to 60, the ideal age to run for president (according to B.J. Habibie). Although this does not mean we ought to have the ambition to be presidents, this vividly illustrates how vital our generation is to Indonesia Emas 2045. If we don’t strive for the country, who will? If we ignore to contribute with our bright minds, who will care for the development? Can you see our Indonesia being neglected?
It is our gradual devotion starting from today that will bring Indonesia to top the world. So consider this perspective wisely.
So what about you? Would like to join me to “hidup bernegara”?
MM, M.Comm Candidate
Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics
Photo: supplied by author