Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Ikhlas, please!

The Muslims have a word that I like a lot: ikhlas, meaning to give something without wanting anything in return. A close English comparison is maybe sincere, but ikhlas also means pure. Someone told me before that being ikhlas is like going to the toilet to poop or pee. You don't ever think of what happens to it next. You give something away to someone who needs it, and you forget about it. You never expect it to return in your favor the next day.

In the context of disaster relief and reconstruction, it seems that Indonesia - well, Bantul people in Yogyakarta, at least (maybe learning from the Aceh experience) - are sick and tired of people giving "aid" when they really want to:
  1. give loan
  2. convert someone to another religion
  3. win political support
  4. promote themselves (too much), for whatever reason
In the Bantul People's Asembly last Tuesday, the Indonesian flag stood proud and at full-height, instead of the usual half-hight to symbolize mourn.

Emha Ainun Najib said, "If anyone wants to help Bantul, then help. You don't need to "brag" about yourself. As from now on, I'd only like to see the Red and White Flag standing in Bantul. Let there be no other flags, be it political parties' or any other organization that's trying to take advantage of people's misery." Suara Merdeka and Republika reported.

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