28 July 2010

Be A Communicator, Not A Speaker

Today, work begins. As we entered the room, we came into our first session. To be a world leader, you have to be able to get the people you are leading to have the same vision as you do. Nothing can be achieved if your people have no intention of reaching the same goals as you. To do that, you need to be able to persuade them and there is really only one skill you need to master, Public Speaking!

We were asked to give a 1-2 minute speech on the topic "Your Most Embarrassing Moment" and I must say that I was very surprised to hear 2 stories that had something to do with me (thanks a lot guys *sarcastic mode on*) but hey, it was part of the fun. Long story short, we had a great time and I want to thank Yu Li for the very interesting session!

We then moved on to the Icebreaking session where we got to know the other Youth Delegation Leaders (YDLs) from Singapore and Vietnam. It was nice to get to know them better, especially the Vietnamese YDLs who we were staying in the same hotel with.

I came the time to do a Mock-up of the things that would be happening at the actual convention. We each presented about ideas on the problems in ASEAN and how we could fix them.

As the presentations went by, we started to learn about how the problems each country was facing was very different from one another. For example, the Singapore Delegation talked about Youth Empathy. From an Indonesian's point of view, and I guess the Vietnamese also felt the same way, there are problems in our countries far more serious than Youth Empathy such as Poverty. The Vietnamese talked about how Youth Empowerment is a very hard thing to achive in Vietnam and the best place for them to start taking action is by improving the educational system. According to them, 98% of the school curriculum is dedicated to sciences.

Through the presentations I learnt how different the problems facing each country could be. However, at the same time, two or all of the countries could be facing one common problem but at different levels. Two issues that we found were common to all three countries were the Education System and the Environment.

Tomorrow we will be meeting with Ambassador Ong Keng Yong at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Ong is the former secretary of ASEAN.

On Friday we have to present on the topic "Can Indonesians Think?" Can Indonesian people think and get creative and innovative? Can they think as well as people in the US or in the EU? We will be very strongly considering your comments since we were asked to get the opinions of the people back home. This is you first and one of the best chances for you to make a difference. So come on people of Indonesia, Can Indonesians Think???

26 July 2010

What You Say, What You Do, Can CHANGE The WORLD

Over 300 Youth Delegates from 10 countries from all over South-East Asia will come together in the bustling city-state of Singapore for one reason, to build the future of ASEAN. As we get closer to the ASEAN Youth Convention (AYC), I wonder if I will be able to make my mark on this world. I mean, who am I? I'm only a "kid"! Am I actually going to be able to do something for the better of ASEAN?

The Preparatory Day on Sunday was coming to an end. We were all reminded about our flights. Then, it was my turn to lead an exercises that to me, explains everything.

We form a circle, holding hands with the people beside us. Toby turned off the lights, then, we closed our eyes. "Imagine you are on a field, where not a wall is in sight." I began. I for one, kept my eyes open, just to make sure that nobody was fooling around. The main idea of the activity was to get them to imagine what was on the line. When I did a way less "dramatic" version of this when I had the Copenhagen Gala Dinner, it really made me realize that what I did there and then could make a difference, for better or for worse.

I then went on. "There are 70 million Youths in Indonesia, and there are 20 Indonesian delegates standing in this circle. Now turn you head and look behind you. Standing behind each of you are 3.5 million youths, youths of Indonesia, youths that you represent. What you say, what you do, what you achieve in Singapore, could make a difference in their lives!"  Then, I went on to telling them that we don't just represent the Youths, we represent all the people in Indonesia. That's 10 million people standing behind each of us. On that field, all 200 million Indonesians stand united as one.

As I began to picture that, I kind of started to realize how big a responsibility I had. I could make a difference in this country, and ultimately the world.

So, what is it actually that is so special about Youths that we can actually have a say in the future development of ASEAN? What can YOUTH Empowerment do?

17 July 2010

"Kak OSIS" - Walking With The New Generation

One thing I must confess that most of the current 8th and 7th graders in Laurensia don't know is that I have never experienced MOS, MABIS or School Orientation or anything like that. I came into Laurensia in the 8th grade and PSB never seemed to have such a thing at the beginning of secondary school. I must admit that I do feel "unqualified" to be "mentoring" the MABIS (Masa Bimbingan Siswa) as I had no idea what to expect other than the unpleasing descriptions given to me by my fellow Student's Council Members. As much as these new 7th grades had no idea what was in store for them, I had no clue what was in it for me too!

After out early morning clock-in time on Monday and after 7:15, I came into my assigned class, 7E,  to start counting the number of empty seats in the classroom. I waited a little longer till there was only one vacant seat left to then finally come to the decision that it was the right time to start talking. I told them that I would be one of their mentors, though not the class coordinator (of course, I was a blank as them), and asked them to turn off their phones. Then all the other OSIS (Student's Council) mentors came in to help me out with my half-hazardly Bahasa Indonesia.

Nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened apparently, to my surprise. But it just felt weird throughout the whole process. For one thing, it was the first time in my life I had been called "Kak" (It means like older brother or the title you use to address someone who is only a few years older than you F.Y.I.), moreover "Kak OSIS"! First of all, I'm the type of person who finds no age barriers between me and younger kids. I really was just expecting them to call me by my name. I guess for formality they kinda had to address me properly, but I hated how I was kind of seen as "higher" than them. When I came to Laurensia, I didn't really have to call anyone "Kak" because no one was "higher" or more superior than me. It was like your first day in a new office. But it just felt weird that now people were "looking up" at me (probably not the best way to put it).

With that being the situation, I finally accepted that I did have some authority over them (hehehe). Having other duties in other classes, I kind of took the opportunity to "observe" what the other OSIS were doing to their so called "victims". Well, to me, they kind of basically made sure that they did their job and ensured that their individual classes were not going to make a fool out of themselves during the closing-ceremony performance (sorry guys, but this is really kinda the best way put it). I know this sounds very overly mature of a 13 year old kid to say, but seeing the situation I was in, I thought that if these kids "looked up" to me, I figured it was an opportunity for me to inspire them, so that at least they would actually get something out of  looking up at me instead of seeing me as a role model only to gain no good qualities in themselves.

So, with that said, I really tried my best to implant some good qualities in these kids so that they don't make the same mistakes I and other people made in Junior High School. How did it go, well, I guess they would definitely remember me for giving out sweets and scolding them for not singing well enough. But whatever the result, I wish 7E and all the other 7th grade classes all the best in their Junior High School Journey!

7 July 2010

Do Others Care More About Us Than Ourselves?

The other day I was at Burger King at Supermal Karawaci about 4.30 pm. I sat between two occupied tables (well not really between, more like close to, but it doesn't matter).

On the table to my right, there were two men, most likely in collage or something. Though they looked Asian, they had very strong American English accents. I inferred that they were definitely not Indonesian.

On another table in front of me, there was a family of a father, a mother and two sons. Now there was not question that they were Indonesians.

Long story short, let's skip to the part when these two tables finished their meal. At the table in front of me, the family finished up their meal, wiped their hands with tissue, placed it on the table along with all the other rubbish and stood up and walked out of Burger King. If you're Indonesian, you might think "Nothing so special about that, it's a common sight!"

At the table to my right, I saw something that shocked me. The guy basically put all the rubbish onto the tray, took the tray with him to the rubbish bin, emptied the tray and put the tray on top of the bin. If you're Indonesian, you might think "Kurang kerjaan banget nih orang!"

Ok, I've got to be honest with you. What the foreign guy did was really something I haven't seen in a very long time. The last time was probably in Singapore or in Australia I guess. But think about it, and compare and contrast. Think about the title of the blog post and think about it. What do you make out of that. Share your thoughts and comment!