Dengarkanlah Calon Pemimpin Masa Depan Kita!

Mungkin tidak banyak yang tahu bahwa tanggal 23 Juli adalah Hari Anak Nasional. Sekiranya saya tidak bekerja di KBRI pun -- yang merayakan Hari tersebut dengan serangkaian kegiatan untuk anak-anak dan remaja -- sudah pasti saya akan melewatkan tanggal ini.

Dari sekian banyak acara yang dirancang dalam rangka Hari Anak Nasional, salah satu yang cukup banyak diminati oleh anak-anak Indonesia yang berdomisili di Washington DC dan sekitarnya, dan orang tua mereka (!), adalah lomba menulis esai pendek. Berdasarkan pengamatan saya, ada beberapa hal yang menjadi faktor cukup tingginya tingkat keikutsertaan anak-anak dan remaja dalam lomba ini:

1. Sistem pendidikan di AS yang mendorong para muridnya untuk menuangkan pikiran dalam tulisan, serta untuk memiliki inisiatif tinggi.

2. Iming-iming hadiah yang disediakan panitia untuk para juara.

3. Ambisi para orang tua (khususnya yang bekerja di KBRI) agar anak-anak mereka berpartisipasi dalam sebanyak mungkin acara.

4. Karena tulisan harus dibuat di tempat (tidak boleh disiapkan dari rumah), kesempatan tersebut digunakan juga untuk duduk berdekat-dekatan selama kurang lebih dua jam dengan yang ditaksir (yang kebetulan ikut kompetisi ini). Menang bukan tujuan, tentunya, yang terpenting kepuasan batin terpenuhi, hehehe...

Salah satu topik yang disediakan panitia tahun ini adalah: "Bila saya menjadi presiden Indonesia". Para peserta dipersilakan memilih sendiri, menggunakan Bahasa Indonesia atau Bahasa Inggris.

Tulisan seorang peserta berumur 11 tahun, Iona Sastromihardjo, sangat mengesankan saya, sehingga saya memutuskan untuk memuatnya di sini. O ya, walaupun blog ini merupakan ruang publik, tapi saya berharap mereka yang membacanya dan sama terkesan dengan saya dapat ikut menjaga hak kekayaan intelektual gadis cilik ini.

My 10 Presidential Rules

Most adults don't take kids seriously. Well, yes, they say they looove kids. They kiss babies on TV. They pat our heads and tell us how cute we look. But try speaking to an adult, they'll say "Be quiet!" before we even open our mouth. And when we refuse to be quiet, they'll scream back at us "Later, later, later! Can't you see I'm busy?"

Adults only listen to other adults. In Indonesia it's even worse. It's like a ladder. Kids have to listen to their parents and teachers. Their parents and teachers have to listen to their bosses. Their bosses have to listen to the much bigger bosses. And the biggest boss of all doesn't know what's going on down below because all those little people underneath the ladder never get the chance to speak.

We kids know a lot because we have big ears and big eyes. We are everywhere. We notice everything small that most adults don't have time to notice. Also, we kids see things differently. We don't get mad when the porcelain plates break. Of course porcelains break, they are not plastic. So if only adults would treat us seriously, we could contribute a lot to the adult world.

Because in Indonesia it is cultural that people only listen to the biggest boss, the only way to change this is to become the biggest boss ourself [sic]. If I were the president of Indonesia, I would pass a law that tells every adult in the country to follow these ten rules:

1. Set aside at least one hour a day to listen to what your kids have to say

2. If your kid happens to be the shy type, be active, ask more questions

3. If your kids happens to be the weird type, be alert, he might be imitating you

4. Don't use baby language when talking to your kids (We are not that dumb!)

5. Discuss your problems with your kids (We can come up with fresh solutions!)

6. Take your kids to different places, show them different kinds of people and foods [sic]

7. Allow your kids to learn more about the stuff they really like (Buy them books, DVD's, computer programs, video games)

8. Don't force your kids to be like other kids. (Einstein wasn't like other kids in his neighborhood)

9. Ask your kid how he wants to spend his life when he grows up.

10. Ask him what he expects from his parents to get him there.

"The child is the father of the man" says William Wordsworth the poet. It means that an adult can learn many things from listening to a kid.

If I become the president of Indonesia, I will make sure that each of my ministers create a program where kids can develop their true talents. And not what their parents and teachers tell them to develop. If I have a dozen ministers, there will [sic] a dozen such true programs for every Indonesian kid from Sabang to Merauke. The minister with the best program will be my successor as president.

Percayalah, saya menuliskan kembali karya di atas sambil kerap tersenyum. Tata bahasanya hampir sempurna, dengan gagasan-gagasan orisinal yang bernuansakan kepolosan kanak-kanak namun tetap brilian. Dan saya setuju bahwa kita bisa belajar banyak dari mereka: belajar untuk lebih menikmati hidup, belajar untuk tidak mencemaskan hal-hal kecil yang tidak perlu dikuatirkan, belajar untuk melihat mereka sebagai pribadi tersendiri dan bukannya semata refleksi diri kita ataupun keinginan kita.

Semoga kita juga belajar mendengarkan anak-anak kita. Selamat Hari Anak Nasional untuk semua anak Indonesia.

UPDATE:

Ternyata si kecil-cerdas Iona memiliki website sendiri, yang bisa dilihat di sini.

19 comments:

nana said...

such a smart girl! only 11 years old... i guess there are plenty smart indonesian boys and girls out there but seperti kata dek Iona semua kayak tangga, hierarchy (sometimes or most of the times?) sucks!

Sunny said said...

Holy....! That's from an 11 yo kid? I bet she's going to be really something when she grows up.

And thanks, Iona, wherever u are, u totally open my eyes. U really make me wanna be a good mother. And thanks, Lenje, for posting it here.

Now I have so much spirit to apply what she said. Wish me luck. Huhuhu.

ria said...

..that's i called...president in the eye of 11 years old kids...i hope someday in future when she become a president...she will remember this letter..

...what a great kid...hope she will be a great person...someday...^^

itto said...

our future president, vote for Iona!....hehehe....

itto said...

g disuruh ngarang ttg pulang kampung aja cuma selese satu halaman lebih dgn huruf dibesar2in dan ada bagian yg diulang biar penuh..:))

Sontoloyo said...

That's the million dollar idea for all the adults around the world.
Sometimes we neglect them (think they don't know anything).

Young people try to make old people listen about anything for a millenia...but old people shut them up...until they grow up (young people)and they do the second best thing (if you can beat them, join them) and became like we try to avoid when we still young.

Boe said...

Blimey ... boleh disebarin ke milis lain nggak mbak? Janji nggak pake pencurian hak intelektuas 'wis ...

Harry, the man who sold the world said...

Ini dia yg dicari2 sama Indonesia, sayangnya masih umur 11, coba kalo dah 27 dah banyak kontaminasinya inget sama seseorang yg dulu vokal pas masih kuliah trus dikasih kedudukan di gedung megah di Senayan sana, lupa dengan mulutnya sendiri yg pernah vokal.

Emang deh, kalo gak harta, ya wanita, kalo nggak ya tahta.... yang pernah "disebut" lupakan saja....

Anonymous said...

wahh.. baru 11 taon.. hebad hebad..

deta said...

salut!!
dia punya pemirikan yang beda.. memandang sesuatu dari sudut yang beda.. orisinil!!

mellyana said...

BRILIAN, gila deh. gue ampe termangu mangu bengong...

rd said...

hebat.. tapi kalo sekolahnya cuma di es-de negeri atau es-de swasta pinggiran pasti jadinya kayak gua :P

tanjaya.tan said...

bravo!

orangcurhat said...

wow!!!
speechless...
ngga tau harus bilang apa...
she's brilliant!!!

Sutopo said...

It is really true parents and adults expect children more but give less. Even in education they, including teachers, underestimate the children's potential. They say "Thanks to me, the kid is successful," but say, "It is not my fault at all that the kid does such and such bad things in his or her life." It is unfair world of children today especially in developing and underdeveloped countris. This is a process of making even poorer generation. The developed rich countries know this, but .....

Apey said...

Such a wonderfull kids !! how come she's come out with these brilliant way of thingking? Coz' education? parenthood ? I'm afraid that only few of children from my neighboorhood had an opportunity to growth like her. I wish that our country put the education development program above of all so there's many kids might grown up with the optimal intelectual and emotional capacity.

'ka said...

this is so cool!!!! :)

guario said...

Satu hal yang gue sebel dari pendidikan di Indonesia adalah pelajaran bahasa sangat mengabaikan literarur dan mengarang. Akibatnya udah gede pada gagap untuk menuangkan pemikiran dalam tulisan. Iona sekolah di luar di mana menulis itu jadi bagian ekspresi dan diajarin.

hasilnya, gue cuman bisa geleng2 kepala. bright young kid. guess we can have high hope for the future of the country.

*pejabat mode on*

sty said...

go Iona go !!!
smartcookie.. :)