What Are You Going To Do About It?
Singin' The Blues!
I am a salesman living in Jakarta, Indonesia. I travel extensively around this country for my work and meet my customers.
Now, if you have been keeping an eye on this country for a while you will notice that it is currently being hit by the biggest economic slumps since 1997. Inflation, a huge reduction in our GDP, you name it, we have it. What happens is the market goes down, the buying power goes down, etc. Its a very depressing domino effect, in which me and my customers and my business happens to be few of the many domino pieces.
So what do we do when this happens? Of course we complain! We go to the local coffee shop and sing the blues! (Indonesia makes amazing coffee!), we complain about the business while being thankful for every sip of hot java seeping through our lips and burning our tongue with caffeine bliss, while my customer smokes unfiltered Indonesian cigarettes, and I silently consume second hand smoke (my customer has two things to be thankful for, while I only have one. He wins. The customer always wins).
The Fallen Angel
Most of the complains we have, as Indonesians, as of this moment is our deep regret for what we did together as a nation last year. We voted for who we thought would be our messiah, the person who would save Indonesia from the mess we already have and bring Indonesia to the next level.
Ask anyone in Indonesia right now about our current president, Jokowi. You will mostly likely see instant regret in their faces, you can see them recalling as they chose Jokowi at the electoral ballot. "We all thought he would make our current economy better, we were fooled! Fooled I tell you, fooled!" they would tell you. Exactly one year back we hailed him as our greatest son. Right now he is more like our fallen angel.
Also execution of drug smugglers from Australia, Dutch and Brazil that he ordered, did not make things any better. He was criticized by the whole world for his negligence of due process before executing the drug smugglers. As a result all the three of the countries I mentioned pulled their ambassadors from Indonesia and Australia reduced its foreign aid to Indonesia from around $600 million to around $350 million, and to add cherry to the pie, one of the current Indonesian drug lord that is currently serving time in prison is not executed and is in fact producing drugs from the comforts of his prison!
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.— Maya Angelou
Am I Complaining?
No, I am not complaining. I am merely describing and picturing a scene for you. I am of the belief that if there is nothing to be done about it, that there is no point complaining. Also, if we can do anything about it, then we should not waste our time complaining and do something about it. So either way complaining, as I believe it to be, is a waste of time.
I don't see it as anything other than a way to blow of steam, to reflect and contemplate out loud with someone else. Misery loves a company, and I am more than happy to keep my miserable customers some company.
As a salesman I lend them an ear, but I make sure to never get influenced. I know it is going to bog me down, so as soon as I leave them, I move on and just forget about it.
This is an important technique to master when you live in a world full of miserable complaining people. Even before Jokowi, when Indonesia is regarded as one of the fastest growing economy in the world, they were still complaining. It is just that now the complains has been brought to the next level of intensity.
If complaining about Indonesia was a blues song, now is the intense 5 minutes long guitar solo part.
The Problem With Not Jamming Along
Another thing is, people will have a problem with you if you do not complain. They will view you as someone who lives in the clouds. One who does not care, acting all high and mighty.
In a way it is true, I do not care one iota. Because I cannot do much about current state of the economy. Our company is a small company, not an influential multinational conglomerate. My family and I do not have Rockefeller Family kind of influence in the country. As far as the GDP of the economy I can only work as hard as I can and contribute whatever I can contribute to the country by paying my income tax and at times donate to the poor and needy.
The only economy I can do something about is the economy of the house and family that I provide. Although, the current economy will effect that too, but as long as I can put food on the table and roof above our heads and make sure our needs are met, I consider myself successful.
And in such situations, I feel we should just forget about the country's economy for a while and think about our own homes. It all starts from the home. It all starts with the family. If you can get that right, then slowly but steadily the country's economy will be right.
We are the economy, as long as we run our houses well and raise our kids right and do the best we can at our work we are helping the economy. That is what I am going to do about it.