Tag Archives: indonesia

Burkini, Duterte’s Middle Finger, and Indonesia

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The video of the Philippines’s president dropping the F-bomb to the EU has — unsurprisingly — gone viral. I have never noticed this new president until his conversation with Indonesian president — about the Philippine’s citizen who were convicted for smuggling drugs and now in death row in Indonesian’s prison — went viral too few weeks ago.

How refreshing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone what he does. However I do believe that every country has a right, and sovereignty to make their own internal law. In Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, for example, drug smuggling means capital punishment. It is beyond me that so many people couldn’t just let them be.

President Duterte called them a bunch of hypocrites. I can see why he does.

In France you are not allowed to wear burkini in the beach, because French has A LAW against it. When people around the world criticise this law, and condemn this too, one of my French friends would get very offended and tell other non-French people off for failing to understand what this religious symbols mean for the French people.

In America, you can carry guns. When some people got killed, lots of people around the world would criticise their gun laws. But a friend from America said to me once, people who are non-American don’t understand that it is their law, and their rights to carry a gun, and what those rights and law mean for the American people.

Why don’t the same rules applied to third world countries like Indonesia or the Philippines?

Indonesia was under a massive scrutiny when we were about to execute nine Australian drug smugglers. People said that the death penalty for drug smuggler is inhumane and barbaric. Now the Philippines has to endure the same thing, because the president is doing a so called “bloody war against drug” in his country.

People who are not Indonesian and not Filipino don’t understand how drug, and drug cartel has undermined the very core of the country. They deliberately introduced drugs to underages, and school children. And, these people won’t back down just by threats of prison time, unlike most criminals in first world countries like the UK, US, or some European countries.

Drug is different in first world country, and third world country. People in the UK called it recreational drug, but it is no recreation at all in Indonesia. When I showed my objection towards drugs to my ex, he felt heavily offended — as for him recreational drug is a part of… you know, youth freedom, the trial and error of life, hippy kind of thing… For me? Coming from Indonesia, it is the reflection of either rich people gone bad, or poor people trying to run away from life, by ruining it even worse.

Do I know someone who died from drugs? I do. But I am not going to speak for him or his family. I leave it at that.

I just want to tell people who complained about this drug war, and burkini. If you want to go to a beach and wearing burkini, don’t go to Nice. There are plenty other places where you can wear your unique looking – sharia approved – beachwear — try Tunisia, their tourism has been suffering after the gunman attack to British tourists few years ago. If you want to go to the beach, and at the same time wanting to be able to get high on drugs, don’t go to Bali. There are plenty other beaches where you can kill yourself slowly, without the government having to help you with the means of firing squad.

Prost!

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Women And Hobbies

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One of my friend posted this link from MGOTW on his facebook page. This is the link if you would like to click, and if you don’t this is the summary:

It is basically a discussion thread asking why WOMEN don’t have hobbies and lack of creativity. The question was asked by a man, and it was answered mostly by men who agreed with him. The thread was basically discuss how women (or specifically women that these guys have known in person) don’t (or if they do, it would be rarely) involved in any activities other than gossiping (which they usually call “hanging out with the girls”), or stuffing themselves with cake while watching TV, or nagging their other half because they want attention.

Hold on.

I didn’t say that it is 100 percent true.

Afterall, the discussion is in MGOTW, where most users there are likely to have an issue with women in general. If I was a Freudian, I would assume that their mums had tried to breastfed them with lemon concentrate when they were still an infant, making them so bitter about women. So, if you did click the link and were feeling slightly upset… please. It is MGOTW, take anything you read there with a pinch of salt.

But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about what they’re saying though. There’s a reason why lots of people believe that women don’t have hobbies. Even women themselves agree to a degree that their peers seem to be lacking in this department.

Before I continue, I have to say that I have exclude the UK in general. I learned from my years being here, that this country is the “United Kingdom of Hobbyists”. It seems men, women, old, and young… everybody has a hobby. One at least. From stamp collecting, to trainspotting, from Magic The Gathering, to knit, and crocheting… you name it. They have it.

However if I see my friends in Indonesia — female friends, albeit I don’t have many. Ah, even my female family members. It seems that they don’t understand what a hobby is about.

Most of them love being online, looking at interesting stuff in video and repost and reshare, and tag people who actually have hobbies. “Bikin ini dong” (make me this, please). Or making a ridiculous comment about how my cooking and knitting hobby is what define me as a good housewife. Most of them don’t understand that people do stuff just for the sake of it.

People like being solitary, and being passionate about something. People do that to have fun. It doesn’t have to be the man-style hobbies like boxing, fishing, rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be too geeky like gaming, or train modelling. It is something that you do.

Most women I know don’t do this. Even my own mother thinks that hobby is a waste of time. She thought she gardens as a hobby, but to be honest, she just ask someone to do the garden while she enjoys looking at it. She doesn’t read, let alone write. She doesn’t cook, let alone experimenting with baking. But of course… My father is the same.

I don’t think it is all gender related. It is mostly cultural too. My grandfather is a big music buff, he wouldn’t spend a day away from our electric organ, he’s a greenfinger too — a proper one, you could see him on the garden tending our mango trees. My grandmother loves cooking, but she mostly do it as a part of daily chore. I am not sure if it is her hobby, or it is just something she should do because she likes feeding the family.

My sister loves tennis, like my grandfather. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have gone to the court at least twice a week. My other sister… she has a bunch of hobbies from crafting to mountain climbing. My brother on the other hand… I think he’s more like my father. He does game a bit, but I have never seen him with a particular hobby.

See? It is not a gender related thing. It is also cultural, and I believe economic factor plays a big role in it. My parents grew up when things were difficult, so it is impossible to develop a hobby because hobby takes money. I think human character plays a role too, because I found some people just don’t have this kind of passion some other has.

I think introvert people are more likely to develop a hobby because they have time for themselves. They will have time to consider things that they actually like doing, rather than doing things because their pals doing it too.

So…

What’s your hobby?

 

Is Life A Race?

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Seems like I couldn’t shake it off my mind since I came back from Indonesia last month.

Like usual, big events in our family means hundreds of friends and relatives gathered to give you their free opinion — yes free, you don’t even need to ask for it. Aunties are the worst of the kinds, because they do have blood relations with you, and they are in a higher position than you are in the family tree. A lethal combo in our culture.

It was much better that I had my husband with me last time I went back to Indonesia. It means that whenever I started to grit my teeth listening to these unwanted opinions, I have my husband to give me a reason not to blow up. Still a Mr. Fix-It, he will fix the situation — unknowingly, since he doesn’t understand a word my aunts said.

Anyway, on their last day in Solo (it was a beautiful sunny day, and much better with seeing them leaving), they made a comment about my sister’s pregnancy.

Great Comic from The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/kids

If you think that when your sister is pregnant, your extended family will leave you alone being child-free, then you are totally and utterly mistaken. In fact, they were even more savage and fierce in telling you that you need to have kids as soon as possible.

One sentence that I couldn’t get rid of my brain is:

“Kamu kapan? Tuh kebalap sama adek…”

Which I could freely translate that to:

“When will you [have a baby]? Your younger sister has overtaken you…”

Overtaken?

Is this a race?

Haven’t they ever play “The Game of Life“? Everybody knows that anyone who finish first lived the most boring life!

But seriously? Is life a race though?

Is it about who graduate the fastest? Or who gets married first? Or get a job first? Be a mum first? It is an idea that I couldn’t get around to. I mean is it okay to ask someone who said that my sister overtook me because she got pregnant first by asking:

“When will you be dead though? You don’t want your younger siblings to overtake you, do you?”

Prost!

 

Norwich Pride And A Lesson About Tolerance

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We went to gay pride again. I love going there because it gives me the sense of acceptance, tolerance, and even belonging. It is great to be surrounded by people, who embrace difference and for once after so many weeks of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, I felt wonderful. I dressed up, and dolled up, –and with my lovely open minded wonderful husband– went to Norwich city centre.

Alle möglichen Leute waren da.

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The sun was up, but not for long. Soon enough the cloud took over and a bit of drizzle sprinkled the sky with cooling spray. None of those stopped us from being… well… gay 😀 We’re marching from the Forum to Chapelfield garden — this is new because usually we walked from Chapelfield Garden to the Forum.

This is when things got more interesting.

Every year, when we’re parading, there would be someone holding an anti-gay poster on the route. Usually only four or five people gathering while waving us the posters, and in return the paraders would cheered back at them.

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Cheered. Not jeered.

It was a “Wooohoooo!!” and lots of clapping, instead of a massive “Booo!!”.

Yes.

Nobody went to attack anyone, verbally nor physically. It mad me think… how the hell this could happen here, but not in my homeland in Indonesia? When I came home that day I found that some Buddhist temples in the town of Tanjung Balai, Sumatra were attacked, damaged, and even burned down — because allegedly ones voiced their concerns about the loudness of the Muslim’s call for prayer there.

Then I realised… Here in Norwich, we are playing the same game, and obeying the same rule. We believe that everybody could have their opinion without being physically or verbally abused. We know that the authorities would police the regulation, and make sure everybody has that right to voice their thought as long as it is not abusive.

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Like those people with anti gay posters in the gay parade.

Like that woman in hijab who took photo in the anti muslim rally.

In Indonesia? If voicing a concern about a loud speaker from a mosque ended up in the burning of seven Buddhist temples… Imagine what would happen to a gay man carrying a beautiful rainbow flag in front of FPI rally? Do you think the Indonesian police officers would protect his right to voice his opinion? Do you think FPI would cheered his bravery for coming out? Nope… he would either ended up in the hospital or even… six feet under.

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Now you think…

Prost!

And I Am The One Who Is Being Hateful? LOL

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Police officer in France was stabbed to death by someone who declared allegiance to IS, not a very long time after the Orlando massacre. In Orlando, 49 people were murdered in a mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, USA. The murdered who doesn’t deserve to be named has pledged allegiance to Islamic State before he went on murdering people.

Many Muslims from US and UK tried so hard to distance themselves from this, by saying again and again that this is not Islam. Etc. Etc. Even the father of the murderer said that he didn’t condone what the son did. It didn’t surprise me at all. Who would in the right mind applaud this horrible act publicly on international media. Oh wait… of course! Indonesian netizens!

Let’s see what they said about this — someone shared these screenshots on my facebook:

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translate: Thank god. May the shooters (sic) receive pahala

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translate: that’s fine. They’re gays

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translate: aww… why just shoot them? Bomb would finish everything. The infidels. teehee…

 

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(1) In the eyes of the world, he is a murderer. But in front of Allah, he is the warrior of Allah’s religion (2) May Allah receives your jihad Omar Mateen. Doesn’t matter if the majority hates you, but by god’s will in front of allah your goodness is received. amen (3) Slaughter these people (homosexuals). In Islam, people like those would have been punished to death by thrown away from tall buildings and stoned to death.

Indonesian authority raided food seller — who were just trying to make an honest living for themselves and probably their families, who’s selling food during the day in ramadan month. Oh… it is ramadan month, isn’t it? Some people are not eating during the day (by their own choice by the way), and now everybody else can’t eat in front of them — because it is disrespectful.

authorities turned the food shack upside down for selling food during fasting month

Using force to punish non-Muslim people from eating in public is not an isolated incident — it happened in predominantly Muslim countries. Elderly HINDU man was beaten up for eating in public during ramadan month in Pakistan. And only few years ago, in Malaysia SCHOOL CHILDREN who didn’t fast had to eat in TOILET because their act of eating could offend their fellow student who were starved by their religion.

Don’t worry. Click the link. I didn’t write those news, I won’t get paid for the click you do.

I am just showing you what many of apologists failed to understand. It is not a phobia. It is a deductive conclusion. It is a criticism towards a religion who insisted that they’re a religion of peace although the reality they’re far from it.

Yeah yeah… I know you’re going to say: “oh it is not the religion, it is the people”, or “oh it is only few of the bad ones, I know some of the good ones”. Well. I know some of the good ones, it doesn’t mean that the religion is not flawed from the root. It should and it is open for both interpretation and criticism — being an ideology. But then if I am criticising it… I am the one who’s being hateful?

I am not the one who kills, condone killings, brutalise, vandalise, violate other people’s lives. And I am the one who’s being spiteful for not being a politically correct apologists — who would rather blame the guns instead of the ideology who pushed someone for being a complete and utter arsehole?

Of course the gun made it worse but… really… Should the French government banned knives too to stop stabbing?

 

Not A Review: AADC2 [Spoiler Warning!]

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Few days ago, I managed to find the spoiler for Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 — or popularly known as AADC2. The reason why I am reading the spoiler is mainly because I am not in Indonesia and I know I wouldn’t be back quick enough to be able to watch it on the cinema. So… sod it. For the non- Indonesian readers, and/or people who weren’t in Indonesia in 2001-2002, you’re probably not familiar with AADC (the original). So, I will start with a brief explanation about it.

AADC is considered as one of the films that has brought Indonesian film industry back from the grave. It is basically teenage drama film, infused with love of poem and literature. It was big. No, let me correct myself — it was HUGE. Suddenly you could see teenagers start reading poetry, writing poetry, understanding that it could be fun, and embrace the romanticism of words and music. It was the turning point for Indonesia.

from liputan6.com

Aber für mich…? It was the reflection of my life. I was in high school, and it was so easy to see me in those white-and-grey-uniform-wearing girls on the big screen. The teenage angst, the misfit, the drama of friendship… And, especially… the unrequited love.

It is when Rangga went away, and the love story was never finished. We never knew…. UNTIL NOW.

Twelve long years later, they made the ending. And this is what happened to Cinta and Rangga: THEY HAVEN’T BLOODY MOVED ON

When I read the ending of the spoiler. I hated it. I hated it with passion. I know it is a love story, and a lot of people needs it to be good, they needed it to be the story that reflect their fantasy. The “what if” things. The “if things were different” things.

I lost for words.

I could no longer associate myself with these people. I still have the same appreciation for words and music, and poetry and cool stories. But I think the AADC characters and I have grown apart. I think we have no longer shared the same idea anymore.

My friends and I talked about this when I was in Indonesia, and I was in Cinta’s situation. I understand that it was so easy to fall for the idea of making the happy ending for the unrequited “teenage dream” love. HOWEVER, this is where the mistakes were often made. People grew up, they’ve changed, and many people (especially women) are in love with someone in the past.

And Rangga of the past is not Rangga of today. Vice versa. They have different dreams to the one they had in high school. They had different opinion. They have changed. They’re not in love with each other anymore.. they love the memory of each other. In the film it works because like lots of fairy tales it stops where the “happy ending” is.

In reality, unfortunately… it doesn’t work that way. When the honeymoon period is over, people start seeing the reality that things are no longer as ideal as it was when they were in high school.

I will stop ranting now.

To all Cinta and Rangga of the world, if you are still going to pursue your high school crush… please. Make sure you love that person as they are today, not just your imagination of what they are when they were 17. They are not the same person.

Just saying.

Prost.

Food Culture Paradox

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Food is a big part of our culture. Three most important celebrations: Birth, Marriage, Death — are always celebrated or commemorated with food. Even in the daily life, food plays a very important role in our culture. It shapes us, it defines us. And we do… I mean, really do love our food.

We love our food so much we want everybody else to love it too. We cannot handle seeing other people not eating something. When we go abroad, and see some unique local food, the first thing we do is buy some extra so that our family and friends at home would be able to try them too.

Ever seen an Asian on a restaurant? While some people would start their meal by saying grace? We won’t start tucking in until we get a really good food photo. For what? Well… We just want to tell people that we know (or we don’t)  that we just had a great meal. And it is important. Good food means good life.

However…

As much as we love food, and feeding people. We worship skinny figure.

We don’t like fat people. We would encourage people to go on a diet, or suggest a really nice tea that somehow could melt down the extra fat on our thigh. Sometimes even, we didn’t realise how hurtful that is for the other party. But of course… we did it because we love them — or so we thought.

This is what I call “The Food Culture Paradox”. As a culture that embrace food, we have become a bunch of enabler for binge eater. We feed them because we love them. We want them to enjoy the finest thing in life and in our case it is a packet of pocky, green tea kitkat, macaroons, and blueberry cheese cake. We saw their waistline get bigger and bigger most of the time pushing to the dangerous limit. But we can’t stop feeding them, can we?

I admit that I have this problem too. I know that some members of our family don’t need more encouragement to binge. But every time I visit home, I would ask them if they want to have pork scratching or jaffa cakes. I know that my husband needs to cut down on sugar and fat, but still twice a week there would be cupcakes baking in the oven, or unlimited supply of biscuits in the jar.

What to do then?

To be honest? I don’t know.

Where to draw the line between being kind and wanting your friend or family to enjoy the food that you do enjoy too, and being an enabler for someone who are obviously addicted to comfort food? How do you know when you give that incredibly yummy cake, that you are not actually clogging their arteries with fat, and slowly killing them?

I don’t know.

But it is interesting, isn’t it?

Yuyun

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Disclaimer:
If you haven’t heard about Yuyun, you are probably the lucky one. I wish I could keep you from knowing who was Yuyun and what had happened to her, but I couldn’t. And I shouldn’t. So, before I even begin, I would like to apologise if this particular post ruins your beautiful day.

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Yuyun was a 14 year old, Indonesian middle school girl who was allegedly kidnapped and gang raped by fourteen boys. She was on her way back from school that day, and she never made it home.

I don’t know what is different from this particular case, that it has got the mainstream media attention. Is it because that she is still really really young? Is it because the number of rapists? Is it because the fact that she was killed on the scene? Or… Is it because it is time for Indonesian people to recognise that we do have rape culture in our society? — so I hope.

Since I was really young, I was taught to dress modestly by my parents. Girls would have to wear a vest underneath their white shirts so if the shirt happens to be see-through they wouldn’t inadvertently showed off their underwear. My mum would wear petticoat when wearing light coloured skirt or dress, or something that slightly fitting to avoid indecent exposure. Can you imagine how hot it was wearing all those layers in a tropical country like Indonesia.

Very. That’s the answer.

But we did it. I don’t mind doing it at school as it is a part of a uniform and most of the time we will be indoor. But we did it outside the school. And what is it for? To prevent the unwanted. To protect ourselves from being a victim, because we know… we know exactly what would happen when we become a victim.

We will be blamed because we are not wearing enough layer. Or that our skirts are few centimetres too short than the decent length. We will be blamed for walking alone. Especially after dark. Because good women would cover themselves up, and not being seen outside without chaperones. And bad women? Well… they’re asking for it.

Now… that’s depressing, isn’t it? That’s why I am so lucky.

I got away.

But that couldn’t be the solution for millions of women in Indonesia (and many other countries like Indonesia). Not everybody could get away from that kind of situation.

Maybe.

Maybe Yuyun case is different.

If there should be a silver lining from this terribly sad story, it must be that this could be the turning point for Indonesia and law to protect women in this country. Maybe Yuyun would be the Indonesian equivalent for the Indian Jyoti Singh. Maybe this time everybody will take action.

One can only hope.

 

Indonesia Is Not All Doom And Gloom…

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In the midst of news like religious intolerance, LGBT intolerance, corruption, and also child rape, I saw this one article about a foreign national being killed in Bali. I remember I thought to myself: “Oh no. Another human rights violation  now?”

And then I read the whole story.

source: rappler.com

This foreign guy is apparently an ex MMA fighter, and from the photo I could see it too. He looks like a tough guy with muscles as big as coconuts He lived in Bali, with his visitor visa which is already expired, and while he was there he was pretty much being a thug — carrying knife everywhere for the purpose of mugging for money, threatening restaurant owners and refusing to pay for food and drink, and also trying to have sex with someone else’s wife. It’s been awhile on facebook until someone suggested to report this to the police.

And they did.

So, police send him a request to come to the station for questioning. He didn’t show up. So, few police came to his place to arrest him, and later to deport him on the base of the expired visa. But thing went south from here.

Instead of going peacefully, this guy started to threaten the police with knife. Not only resisting arrest, he managed to attack and stab a police officer several time to death. Other cops have given three warning shot to the air, but he still didn’t stop.

source: straitstimes.com

So, in the end he was shot and died.

The other photo is pretty grim, and I suspect it has been taken down because I couldn’t find it any more. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I found this quite positive.

Yes, I am sorry that he is dead. I send my deepest and sincerest condolences to his family. But how about the family of the police officer he stabbed? How about the safety of other people in Bali? This is not ideal, but I will back this action if its needed because I believe this is the right thing to do.

This is not the only time Indonesia has put her foot down against foreign threat. The execution of Bali Nine is the other thing. And also our Maritime Minister Susi Pudjiastuti who burned and sunk foreign ships who entered our water without proper permit.

source: 1shareindonesia.blogspot.com

Indonesia is not all doom and gloom. It grows its backbone and now getting stronger. I hope it is not only tough to foreigner but also to domestic threat — home grown terrorists, radicalised group, intolerance and assault to minority groups etc.

Should You Drop Out School?

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Facebook feed is definitely a source of writing inspiration nowadays. Especially if you have different kind of people in your list — people from different cultural backgrounds, age group, jobs or expertise, etc, who love posting statuses, or sharing stories. Or in this particular day, someone from my list shared a video.

It is not just a video. It is a video from a TED talk. A boy. A teenage boy. Talking about how — according to him — school is making us less intelligent. I couldn’t post the video directly from facebook, so I went to youtube and found it there for you — obviously to make your lives so much easier.

You’re welcome.

 

There. What do you think?

Do you agree with what he said? That school makes us less intelligent? So, should we all just drop the education and stop going to school altogether — for the sake of creativity?

Or, you can start seeing the flaw in his argument — when he started contradicting himself about the meaning of success, and that there are different kind of intelligences? I let him off for that one, mainly because he is still young, and probably he didn’t get the chance to learn that in academic writing such flaws would be heavily scrutinised by the professors.

But of course… That’s not the problem.

The problem is… I agree with him to a certain degree.

I too was a “victim” of how school tried to shape us into something that we are not. I remember quite clearly what happened when I told my teacher that I wanted to go to Language Department, instead of Natural Science Department. I remembered that I was coerced to change my option, because I was “too smart” for Language Department.

Now? Now I am working with languages, and I love it. I still wish I took that Language Class. If I did, I might be better now in my German. Maybe I didn’t have to start from the very beginning. Maybe I would have got a basic knowledge of German or French… Who knows?

I also agree with him that there are different kind of intelligences. I too have witnessed so many of my friends who were considered as stupid, or slow has flourished after they graduated high school and took art and design route, or music, or business. Something that they didn’t learn at school at all.

But how about people who don’t have that “specialities”? How about people who are just the average? People who needs to get a basic level of education to get a job — to get money — to feed their family, etc.

What this boy said about “school makes us less intelligent” is not unfamiliar for me at all. I have heard the same argument over and over again, only at that time when I was younger it was “school doesn’t make us rich” or “school doesn’t guarantee our success“.

But.. success…

This is what I considered as the hole in this boy’s argument. He started impeccably when he said that people are unique because they have their own unique intelligences, but he forgot that we also have our own unique aspirations. For him success is having a flourished company, that makes a lot of money — that’s why he argued that he is better at managing a company than those who graduated from Harvard. For some people it is being a president, or an MP. For other… it is having a happy family.

For me, it is mastering 10 languages, and writing books.

So, if you ask me if you should drop out from school… well… you probably might.