On #FreeAhok and Lost Dreams

Once upon a time, I had a dream to create an NGO that would improve Indonesia’s education system.

Over the course of a few years, the vision inflated and deflated. There are times where I narrowed it down to wanting to patch up the curriculum, and there are days where I thought I should take a step back and maybe do something smaller than trying to change the whole nation.

Lately, though, it hasn’t even been a question of what my aspirations are, but more on whether or not I actually can.

When your very existence (race, gender, faith, sexuality, ideologies, etc.) is already viewed as a “mistake”, can any of your actions really prove that you are more than the “mistake” your fellow citizens think you are?

Starting from today, there are people who will walk down the streets of a well-improved Jakarta who have just (directly or indirectly) sentenced the man behind the said improvement to imprisonment. It’s the same apathy and hostility that sparked numerous civil wars and uprisings in the past; it’s the same resentment that drove my family to flee the country once. We returned a few years later in good faith, but our confidence is thinning.

Back to that dream… does it make any sense to pursue something you have lost all faith in?


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