At the Singapore Botanical Gardens, 2008
If seeing an actual statistics of the world, what i'm about to say might not be true; i really believe i was born as one of the most lukiest men on earth (okay i don't know if lunatic people can survey and stat the ranks of the lucky people in the world, so my stats are valid hahaha). I think that every person in this world has their own parameters of "luck", but i'd like to think if there are people who love you for who you are, and that affection is pure; you can give yourself a pat on the head and consider yourself one club with me :)
I'm lucky because i was born into this family. I'm the firstborn from the couple; Djonet Santoso and Titiek Kartika (my Dad and Mum). I have a smaller sister; Safira Diah Pranidhana, and i have an older step sister; Riayati. I love them all. I think our number is just right, which is why when i hear friends who have big families i can imagine my sheer confusion of how to handle such relations with so many family. My parents are both lecturers in a state owned university in the small town of Bengkulu, south western tip of Sumatra island, Indonesia..
My parents both studied their masters and doctoral degrees out of the country; the Netherlands and Australia. I've been observing a lot how my family operates and observe how other families work, and i happen to believe our long stays abroad do have a significant effect of how my parents raised me and my sister, i also believe that the way we think is a little different than the stereotypical Indonesian. I see that my parents are a lot democratic in many ways.
"A man can only be a real man if he spends time with his family - Don Vito Corleone"
One day Dad promised that once i enter the age of maturity, he'd give me more freedom to decide. I'm very happy that he delivered, gradually i'm given more freedom to think and express myself in everyday life. Decision making, when it comes to my life, is something that 90% i take, and they impose that i will be the sole bearer of the consequences of my actions. To some people its overwhelming, but not to me, as a regular growing boy i was naughty here and there, done bad things in the past, but nothing significant to actually ruin my future. I think the key to wanting more trust from their parents is if you can answer yourself can you be trustable; would you steal from a jar of cookie you're not supposed to open even if no one's watching? If you can answer yes, then i dont believe you'd have much trouble.
I think this article can never substitute the feeling of gratitude that i believe me and my sisters share. I'd like to always think that, in the world statistics, we're only a puny number; 1 out of 5 billion people of the earth, and whatever we do is just a tiny ripple in the open seas. And i think it matters most in the world if you can come home to people that makes you feel not just a number, but you actually matter, that even though there's 5 billion other people that fits the definition of "human", things would just never be the same without your pressence. I think that's important, most important actually.
So, when was the last time you hugged your mum? When was the last time you had that father to son talk with your Dad? When was the last time that you realised you're lucky to have them? If you havent, i can tell you you're missing a lot of things. Because you know what? It's cold out there, and there's probably a lot of people that would come to you and offer you their jacket, but it's not a lot of people that has a jacket that fits you exactly, and that when you wear it you find in the pockets a toothbrush, some warm snacks, and a note saying "you'll be fine, we're right here.. love, mum-dad"
So, when was the last time? I hope the answer isn't "yesterday" or "5 minutes ago".. i hope your answer is "there's no last time, i'm still doing it" :)