Will you help..?

I was born and raised in village, where everybody are helping each other… even you work together with total stranger to help someone else that you may also never met before… we call it Gotong-Royong… a helping spirit among us… it is still today, so if you’re in a village, try asking for help, and they will take it seriously and everyone will be happy to help you.

I bring that attitude when I was in university …  when I saw small accident in the road, I will stop and help as much as I can, and leave after I make sure that the person is alright… I will not hesitant to help colleagues and friends who need money more than me…  but that somehow is no longer true… or I should say not in the extent that I will do as in the some previous year. What has happened..?

Jakarta change me.. :). It goes back when I moved to Jakarta after graduating… I have few close friends,  one day one of my friend who works in the same company with me said : he needs help. Her mother has cancer and need to go to hospital and wants to borrow some money, he will pay in monthly installment from his salary… I agreed and lend him my savings, quite a significant amount to me…

Very strange happening afterward, he don’t want to talk with me, keeping distance and seems avoiding me as much as possible… may be because he focus on his mother… Monthly installment never came (no interest rate BTW), may be he use it for his mother… after 6 months the installment never came. But I need the money, so I remind him about the deal… he just smile and say “yes later”… But later I found out that his mom is OK, no cancer, no hospital just happy-as-you-can-be mom… When I confront him later… he just smile and said the money spent to something else, but will pay it… it never happen, he finally leaves the office and work somewhere else…

I had another few similar incidence, and then I found how different Jakarta with a small village where I were born… so I no longer  trust someone who say “I need help, can I borrow money”. I always change the word “can I borrow some money” into “can you give me money”, hence if possible, I will give money without expecting that I will get it back later… but it will be much much less that he or she originally wants… and as much as I prepared to lose the money. I lost  few friends because they simply avoiding me after receiving the money… it does not bother me at all,

But the level now is getting higher… the crooks now using our helping attitude to try to mug us… here is one of the example:


The above is a tweet from a famous branding / ad agency in Indonesia : Mr  Subiakto, it said: “if someone lying on the ground after 23.00 in the roundabout of CITOS do not help, their friends are waiting (ready to mug you) under the bridge…”

What if someone had a real accident and need real help at the odd hours… will you help..?  May be by calling police but I do not think we will dare enough to stop and personally help them…  That is really sad, we have lost or reduced our trust and willingness to help because of these people…

Jakarta 3/3/2014 after not so intense meeting…

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