Charity? Yes, it is. It does enable one to have empathy towards one another, notably those in plight. It is also the epitome of spirit of service to society. More, it can truly distance ourselves from negative things besides mindfulness. It is to be promoted for the sake of sustainability after all. As it is the way to forbear and not to be daunted by misery. We have to fight against cruelty that keeps the entire world from progressing today. We shall imbue all the universe with charitable deeds. But how?
From Yogyakarta, Mr. El Candra has an inspiring story about charity. He decided to resign from being manager in a bank long ago. Rather, he moved on, and started becoming an entrepreneur by founding Syarifah Chicken Porridge (Bubur Ayam Syarifah). Having a convenient circumstance and he just left it. Surely? Yes, he is. He did not want to be in complacency. It is a brilliance the way he put charity in his enterprise. He set no expense to those who are lacking: physically, spiritually, economically. Every Friday.
Still, he did not ask for being granted. And he never relied on profession for earnings. He meant it as a resolve. So, he initiated a bank to fulfill the resolve he already settled: X Bank. The rule is simply to distance oneself for granted, notably interest. Debt to anyone else may become hard, but guilt for universe -and its people as well- is even sore. We apparently depress, and burden people in the plight. Thus, Mr. Candra encouraged his surrounding to start building an independent enterprise with his X Bank. His aim is to promote entrepreneurship through charity.
Here is another exemplary in Bogor: a generous yet humble couple. Right. Mr. Lugi Riyandi and Mrs. Enny Bonaventura. They have been spending their time mostly to provide people in a need of help; literally health service. Helping one another by lending wheelchair and ASI, befriending those in mental disorder, treating the ones who are in illness -and opening donation for them if necessary- also supporting blood donation in their region, Jonggol; not to mention the cat three days ago. They never minded becoming fatigued due to those all. It only gave them a reason of living: to take the very good care of the world and its people.
Mr. Lugi and Mrs. Enny have keenly been serving the society for years. It turned out later that everybody fully acknowledged and honoured them very well. Charity made them happy, both in this world and the higher one after. They might not be in a plenty of fortune, but it did not heave them. They devoted their life for the sake of well-being in this country. More, they have been desiring to arouse the marginal community entirely in charity. So what else?
Next is the role model for Indonesian agriculture, Masril Koto. Through agricultural bank, he raised the environment in Agam: from the poor to the rich one. And he verily put it in the effort: asking for advice from banks, agricultural department related to banking. Although he did not finish his elementary school, he has a spirit of ongoing learning. Afterwards, the microfinance institution agriculture (Prima Tani) was being told abroad. But he then realized that country was connected to misery. There, he was determined to put an end to its main cause: poverty. Without doubt, he went out from the agricultural bank because of disagreement with his vision.
Again, he had to overcome the hardship by himself. He worked so very hard, kept travelling around West Sumatera to share his idea about agricultural bank. More, he had been dreaming to spread it over Indonesia entirely. And the inevitable instance occurred. It came from a Japanese who wanted to do agribusiness in microfinance institution, involving 2000 farmers in West Sumatera. He literally influenced and attracted the whole country. Unfortunately, he met the cruelty outward. Two years ago, a freelance journalist wrote about him based on prejudiced viewpoint merely from someone that disliked him. True. He was accused for a fraud creating agricultural bank. And he actually sank in worry. Doing the right, but wrongly being framed for jealousy. How come?! Even so, he rose and upped the agribusiness to hundreds of institutions with total fund hundreds of billions rupiah. Also, he involved the children of farmers -mainly those not entering school anymore- for empowerment. He did fulfill, even outreach the epitome of charity itself.
How far have we sustained welfare through charity? Alright. To act up to the highest we can see, inner peace and love must be prevailed in education. It is the way to lead man to humility, which in turn equips him with all eligibility. Alas, this is far beyond from what we witness in educational system currently; not to mention the people’s measure of success: wealth. We are nearly losing compassion, our heart attitude, as we do unawares undervalue charity. Obviously.
We want to have a gain on something immediately. We need completely change the standpoint of success: from achievement to giving more. We might be belittled, laughed at, and even ridiculed (i.e. by family / relative). But had it been LEVER (LATER and probably NEVER), we would have made nothing. And if we have to wait, then WHEN? That is what we are not seeing presently. Is this all the life we want after all?
Here is a way to live fully, mindfully, and happily we are to welcome ourselves: “Today was a good day. And you will never in a million years hear me say that it is all beyond my control. I am sure you can agree that it is not true that good exists only if one’s surroundings are good. True happiness can be obtained, because it is all in the mind and heart. And it is not true that satisfaction and happiness do not last. Some goodness does shine through once in a while. Even if the world is a pretty evil place. Because, when you take a closer look, there is something good in every day. And don’t try to convince me that, today was really the worst day ever.” Lo! You will find out that the planet-earth will be even happier one day. It is the meaning of charity. Time to SPEAK THE TRUTH. Happy New Year. Don’t forget to be happy. SMILE.
Faculty of Engineering
University of Indonesia