Monday, March 26, 2018

A full moon in Denpasar
Everyone's not perfect.
That is my lesson I learn after several times failing in relationships thing (and not limited to only romantic ones). I have a tendency to see someone perfectly at the beginning of everything. Forgetting that humans are never flawless. This is a cliché but it struck me so hard lately. My favorite star hooked up with her fan during tour, my favorite writer is being obsessive with his belief, and my favorite people are racist ... and all other major events in my life that I wouldn't talk about. But then I realized they are all humans, and they at least still possess positive things that I can learn. And after all the tears and heartbreaking moments, I want to give a shot on some people's characters that I respect of, and will always be.

1. On being spirited
I've only had one research boss. He's quite a hot-headed person sometimes, but he is always spirited in his expertise. He is a kind of person that makes you are eager to listen, and also want to share your academia-problem. He is helpful when it comes to his expertise, I remembered times when he was not officially my boss but was willing to help being judge for writing competition event held by my organization. He is patiently learning bunch of new skills from new people to perfect his works. When he is committed or once said he would work for a project, he'll do it to the fullest. He surprisingly in some unexpected moments will ask you the project you ever told him to help, and asking for its continuation - and it is such an amazing thin when I know his schedule is full of fieldwork, grant management, administration stuffs, and also a family. But after had some occasions with his wife, I know what it takes: a super patient wife to take care all the rest of it.

2. On being conscientious
I only have one thesis supervisor for more than 6 years. My relationship with him is not a kind of heart pouring relationship as many other students see us like one. We've been through many arguments and disagreement. But we did it in a healthy way. I think, that's what makes our relationship stays. He is a fair professor that never sees a one's quality from the age - or background. He taught me to see people in both side - they are indeed sometimes trigger our deepest anger, but we can see something in them. He was the one who said to me that attitude sometimes does not go along with intelligence, and that is fine. Being in a six healthy years with him also made me realizes that he never takes something too personal when we decide to be an academia. Any critics are fine when put in the right place. Far before I was exposed to Western culture about criticizing, he taught me that being fair means receiving critics with a smile and...come back. Do not give up, learning is hard. He often told me the era when he took postgraduate without internet, and all journal he was looking for must be checked manually in the library. Giving up of something is pernicious, unless it is a thing that is illogical to do.

3. On being kind
I have a problem with trusting older woman - I admit that. I had some traumatic events in the past that I am still trying to get rid of. But then I met this woman, who I can say, have the biggest heart in this world. I shared with her some heartbreaking experiences and she listen then gave some advice that - perhaps it sacrifices ourselves but - just be kind. It is okay to be angry - rationally. It is okay to take some times alone to think many things. But she never suggested any kind of revenge. Indeed she is not perfect - neither is anyone. She sometimes told me stories about racism she faced in years ago, but she decided to forgive it. Only with that we, as women, can through a lot of things ahead. Last night I read an article from medical professionals on why women get fatter after get married. It is basically because of lesser time for themselves getting sport or fun activities. Their time must be used for works, kids, and domestic things. Women - in most culture, are sensitive being and it is acceptable to say that women should take the role of someone who is forgiving in the family. She forged me to train myself to be one. Being kind means giving ourselves chance to be happy with ourselves.

4. On being fair
Everyone has favorite, we do. But one of my past bosses taught me that it could be harmful. He is a nice, talkative, advanced-in-networking person and the first person who taught me to face client eloquently and in a proper manner while we can. It is sometimes unavoidable to have such bad clients sometimes, and it is okay to show your anger with your colleagues in office. He is also a person who spends his time sometimes in the noon to have a light conversation with our office's security guards, or low-level staffs. I enjoyed my time traveled from Jakarta to Bogor for a client, with him driving and told me a lot of stories when he was young, working as a phone-line salesman and heard so many people shouted at him. He experienced times when he had to work as door-to-door marketer, and many rough jobs to survive and postponed his college period. He said, everyone wants to be treated nice - the question is, can us treat people equal? He shared that it is what a leader had to do - being fair to every staff. "Having favorite is the least you should do if you run a communication business - because everyone is sensing it" - he said, and he had shown it enough to me. Our last argument could not be called nice, but I still respect him in many ways. He was being fair to me for the very last moment - when he wrote a goodbye letter and sincerely said thank you for me in helping his business grew in our last annual meeting.

And after 25 years, now I truly understand why I should not put anyone on a pedestal.
We are not perfect, and with acknowledging that everyone is not perfect, we are able to be more forgiving, fair, kind, and conscientious in daily life and works.
I will kill my addiction towards some people - and commit myself to mastering it.
We do not expect anyone to be perfect, so we will be resilient.
Just like what Soe Hok Gie once said:
"Kita tak pernah menanamkan apa-apa, kita tidak akan kehilangan apa-apa."

This writing is inspired by this article and this video.

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