Source: <Picture by Iwan Putuhena>
"I see a lot of people who love their jobs. I see some garbage collectors smiling as they go about their work." (Willie Stargell)
Have you ever walked down a street and smell something that makes your nose reach up high with avoidance? How does it feel when you walk next to a river and see packages of waste floating along the flow? Does it bother you to see simple houses built among all the trashes? Can you imagine if you live there?
Trash has been a big issue everywhere, but people don’t really care about it. I can notice it because I have travelled to places and from those trips I can compare each place with how people deal with the trash every day.
My home country, Indonesia. This is the most irritating place I’ve ever been. I think there is a low self-realization of trash bins in this country. I will tell you about Jakarta, since that’s where I came from. As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is divided into several districts with several classes of people. However, I have never seen a place in Jakarta that is clean from the trash. Sometimes when I walk, I see people throwing away their cans or their snacks’ packages on the street. I usually stop and shake my head. There are trash bins everywhere, and they choose to act as if they can’t read. When I am going by car, it’s not rare to see people throwing away tissues or those cans and snack wraps from the window, as if there’s an imaginary trash bin in the middle of the road.
When the raining season comes, guess what? Flood is coming to town. People will be so mad that they blame the government for not taking care of the city. But whose fault is this, really? Do they think that the trash they throw will vanish in a snap? NO! They stay on the street, get swept away by the city sweepers (who also do not throw them away but store them right inside the holes between streets and ditches), and stay there until the rain comes. From there, they start floating and clogging the ditches, and soon, where does the water have to go? BINGO. The streets! And that’s where the flood begins.
During the flood, do you know what may come? MANY DISEASES.
Diarrhea. Why? Because during the flood, the access to decent water is gone. Think about the poor people who live in Indonesia. In Canada, where I live now, water is everywhere. I can even drink water from the tap without even getting sick. But in Indonesia, people are not so lucky. We don’t have fresh water in the city. We have to buy gallons of mineral water in stores. Don’t even think of drinking from the tap water. Some people, who are not so lucky, can’t afford it. So they build wells near their houses and take water from those sources. Imagine when flood comes and drowns those wells. Where do they get water to drink? So here comes diarrhea, and it spreads quickly.
Dengue Fever. It is commonly heard in Indonesia, because there are thousands of cases there. The fever can kill people, and it is brought by Aedes aegypti mosquitos. Thank God as long as I stayed in Indonesia, this fever never attacked me, because this is very dangerous. Do you know where the mosquitos come from? The pool of water. Which pool of water? The ones you throw. The cans. When the raining season comes, the rain will fill up the cans and that’s where the mosquitos breed.
Those are the two main diseases caused by flood. And let me remind you again, why is there flood? Yup, the trash.
It doesn’t happen only in Indonesia. It happens everywhere. Even in Canada, I can still people throwing away trash and walk away. There have been signs of throwing trash outside the trash bin but still some people choose to forget how to read. You think you only throw one can a day. Well, let’s collect it for a year. You’ve got yourself almost 400 cans. And you’re not the only one. Let’s say there are a hundred thousand people who think the same way. How many cans will be collected after a year? After ten years?
Not only the flood I am afraid of, but also the impact to the environment. Cans, Styrofoam and plastics are commonly found on streets and sometimes on fields. Do you know that it will take years for the soil to decompose them? And their substances might harm the soil too, making it less fertile. Soon the soil won’t be good enough to be planted on, and the plants are going to be worse.
Also some people choose to throw the trash into the ocean. When I last visited Ancol (a beach in Jakarta), I couldn't see anything but trash floating. Looks like they have replaced the fish with trash. I don't get it, because it used to be clean and popular. Now that many people come during the days and the weekends, they set picnic spots and throw the trash straight to the ocean. They think the ocean is just a huge storage bin that can swallow all the trash. Soon the life in the ocean is no longer suitable for the ecosystem.
Have you realized that simple things such as trash can actually matter to us? Have you heard the bell inside you, crying for a change?
I know old habits die hard. If you are used to throw away trash without feeling guilty, you better start now. Don’t wait until somebody else does it, because they won’t. Be the first to change. If you can’t find any trash bins nearby, keep it for a while. It won’t kill you right away. Imagine if you start caring today, and you start to inspire others. This is possible. Maybe this can be solved. Maybe someday when I come home, the atmosphere will be different. Or is it so hard just to put your trash into the trash bin? Are you not annoyed enough by the piles of trash?
Let’s stop. Let’s create a change, hoping to get a better place to live in the future. Because if we don’t this will get worse, and someday it will be too late. Don’t look around trying to wait for somebody. Be the change. Together we can, together we will!
By: Amanda Inez (email@example.com) (twitter: @amandainezz)
Have you ever realized that nowadays, along with the superb technology development, the mobile life, and with the Internet dominating the world, we humans are becoming less-smart and less-willing? Have you ever realized that the easiness we get in life has made us even worse than before?
I've been thinking a lot about the lives of those people in my father's generation. Back to the time when all they could do was to make themselves best at everything with their effort. They didn't have what we have now. They barely had televisions and cars. Neither mobile phones nor the Internet was there. Books were hard to possess, and education was poor. They didn't have online games to play. I think that was why they made themselves better athletes than us. Maybe that was why they made themselves better artists than us. The limitations they once had, motivated them to be just better, to live a better life, in a better future.
But if you ever saw how tough they were, you would feel you are nothing compared to them (or at least, that's exactly how I feel). We are living with every facility provided in cities. Books are now sold everywhere, worldwide, and even online. We have mobile phones -- smartphones that can tell us everything. Movies, songs and games are everywhere, becoming more accessible than ever. Education is also becoming a priority to most countries.
This was the future they wanted. Our past generations wanted a future where everything is not as hard as what they went through. Sometimes I hear stories from my parents. If only they had a chance to live their youth age in this era, they would be so happy. They admit that everything is much easier now. To keep in touch, to learn, to communicate easily without having to wait for a telegram or a letter. To travel. To enjoy the liberty. To have what we have right now.
What about us? Tell me, with all those social media things like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and online games, what do you get? Is it just me, or those facilities make us imprisoned every day? The time when we could learn something new or experience something new outside, is consumed through sitting in front of our computers. Is it just me, or are you thinking that our willingness to struggle is now decreasing?
I see kids whose parents are encouraging them to take extra lessons and they pay teachers for it. Those kids' willingness to study harder with their effort isn't there anymore. They are depending on their tutors to teach them. Because books are more accessible, they spend money on books they don't read. School textbooks are only complementary at school. Some students don't even bother coming to class. A family with smartphones rarely talks to each other. Instead, they are talking to others through online messengers. Music and arts are no longer a passion, but a trend. Everyone can be popular. They can last, but not eternally. Just like a lightning that strikes once, but then it's forgotten.
Right now, I believe I am not the only one feeling this. And I believe we can still make a change. To prepare a better future. What's the future want to see? I want to see a future where everything we once had in the past is not gone. Certain types of plants and animals are endangered, and many of them are extinct. I want to see a future with clean environment and clean air everyone can inhale. Pollution is gone. I want to see a future where everyone lives educated in liberty, but bound to the laws that protect them. I want to see a future where people are not imprisoning themselves in entertainment, but where people will have the willingness to work hard, for another better future. Much better than this.
The future we want. I am certain that there are some people who share these dreams with me. And I believe we are not alone, and that together we can make it happen. As long as we have the same faith and willingness.
This is the future I want. What about you? :)
Sometimes when I don't have anything to do, I usually take my time to daydream. I would picture how the world will look like. And in my daydream, the world just can't get any worse.
The environment is getting worse. Especially in poor countries. The poor gets poorer while the rich are torn between getting poorer or richer. The price will absolutely go up, high. Some places lose their beauty. Some places will not have any access to clean water anymore. The scarcity of water and poverty then will bring those countries into riots. Wars are going to be declared. The word "PEACE" is going to exist only in dictionaries. Animals and plants are getting extinct. Soon, there will be nothing left on this earth.
There is a song called "We Are The World". And if you truly feel that you belong in the world, why don't you start making changes? Do you often throw away small garbage everywhere you like? Imagine there are thousands of people like you. Imagine how much garbage you throw each day. Do you often forget to turn off your lights or television? Imagine how much electricity you could have saved in a year. Do you prefer driving than walking on a short distance? Imagine the fuel you could have saved in a year. Do you hunt extinct animals and cut down trees? Imagine someday the trees are getting scarce and there will be insufficient oxygen supply for you.
You see, posting "Happy Earth Day" each year will not help the earth. There has to be actions. A self-realization that you belong to this earth and that the earth is getting worse. Think about the future. Think about what you wish to see in the future for our earth.
We do not have much time. Every day counts.
By: Amanda Inez (firstname.lastname@example.org) (twitter: amandainezz)
To me, it is really a shame that we cannot ask to be born as who we want to be. When we were born, the choices we had were only to live or to give up. Some are lucky to be born and then raised with a good education in a good home. But others are not so lucky.
I can see everyone fighting so hard to survive, until we forget to think about others who really need our hands. The children who live far away, far beyond our point of view. They linger in a hidden and forgotten place, that it seems like we are too far to hear their voices. We often forget them, just like we often forget that the world has so many people shouting for our help.
It slices my heart to see how those girls live each day to get by. Somewhere inside my heart, I am ashamed. I feel bad for myself, for forgetting them and folding my hands like I never cared. Those girls, who are not as lucky as we are, need our help. They never chose to live they way they do now, but we have the choice to help them. They need us to hear. This is what makes us human, because we care each other more than animals do for their kind.
To me, the basic thing to provide them is education and nutrition. I know that some organizations are trying to help them with this, but if we can help, wouldn't it be much better? Imagine if we were those girls who tried so hard to shout, but never be heard.
Open your ears and heart, my friends, and listen. You may have been too busy with your life, until you forget that this life consists of countless people. Listen well. There are so many things we can give and it does not have to be money. You have options to help or to walk away. Deep in my heart, I really wish we all help them and give them a chance to be heard.
This is what I do to help them. What will you do?
This morning I just found out that the tiger smugglers in Indonesia only have to spend time 2 years in jail and pay around $ 340. And last week, I found out that the Javan Rhino is EXTINCT.
Have you thought about this lately? That humans are far more demanding than they used to be? They start to think that they rule the world, and so, they can do anything they want. But now, we have more and more animals extinct. For nothing. For the sake of elegance, they kill animals. Just so they can get their skins and horns.
And what can I do? Nothing. I'm just a student. But I wish I could do more. I will be against you who still think that it's OKAY to kill endangered animals instead of breeding them. We keep on repeating the same mistakes our former generations did. They hunted and killed, and some animals are extinct already. Now do you want to be like them?
Now I never get to see a Javan Rhino. And I have never seen a tiger, too. I'm sure many of us still want to see them ALIVE, not in dead figures or just in pictures.
Please, think about the future, not your money. What about the other animals? If they are all extinct, what are we? A bunch of killers, inhumane people, and we still think that we are humans?
Wake up, this is a brand new day, the right time to make a change for our own's sake. What we've done to the poor animals shows that we are not humans at all. Please, stop this madness. Think about the future.
By Amanda Inez (email@example.com) (twitter: @mandainez)
If you had the ability to choose the gender of your future child, what would you choose? A baby girl, or a baby boy?
In many countries, men are regarded stronger than women. Some say that women have to bow to men. I think this is silly. Who are the mothers of men? And how can women produce children?
Men and women. They are one. Strength and weaknesses lie between both of them. That's what makes our world in balance, just like the other elements in it. A great family comes from a man and a woman who love each other with RESPECT and TOLERANCE. If you're a man and you think that a woman should not handle anything, then you can ask your mom to swallow you back. Because believe it or not, you are not created. You came from your mother, who is a woman for sure. And your mother wouldn't have had you as a child if it wasn't for your father, who is a man.
To be born as who you are is a right, and that is worth fighting for. It is our job to live together as one, completing each other with our strength. This is the 21st century. I am a girl and I think I've had it all, because there has been this gender equality in my country, although in some parts of my country, they don't have it.
Maybe you haven't heard of Raden Ajeng Kartini. She was a woman, fighting for gender equality in our country when there was still a discrimination happened. Long ago, girls and women were not allowed to gain education. They were "locked" at home. They were not allowed to share even a thought. Their duty was only to take care their house. So she fought back, she was the first example for Indonesian women to realize that we are equal to men, and that we have the rights to grow. And there goes the Indonesians' Woman Rights.
Many people fight for an equal life, yet many still bond with traditional norms. This is time to open our minds and realize that the world needs balance. Men and women can work together. We need to respect our rights as others want us to do. Gender doesn't matter anymore.
So now, do you live in the 21st century, or are you still trapped in the past?
And what gender will you choose for your future child? I would say, "I most seriously do not care."
By Amanda Inez (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Twitter: @mandainez)
At the beginning, we are all just innocent children, with empty minds, yet we have our high spirits of curiosity. Then, everything starts to change. Our pure minds get contaminated. Our pure souls start wondering for more. Power. And then there is war.
War becomes ineffective then, and some of those people start to think about a new way to terrorize. Which is then, they start to plant bombs everywhere. Millions have died. Luckily, some of them are caught. But unfortunately, again the government has to take lives.
Personally, I don't think a death penalty can bring peace. Especially when there are some people who just love revenge. And though one big guy is dead, he sure has thousands more who can replace him and think of a better way to terror. They killed many souls. Killing is not human. And by killing them, we show just how similar they and we are.
It's not ours to take death; nature does. But it is NOT impossible for us to make others change. Death is not everything, after all. Maybe you have heard the sentence, "An eye for an eye." So when thousands of people were killed by a terrorist, should you kill a thousand more to make avenge? And would their lives be worth it? I don't think so.
And people have been practicing this for like the whole time. And still there are no progress in dealing with terrorist. So it is proved that death penalty is not the ultimate way to remove all the terrorism attacks.
It's not ours to take lives. Just believe in karma, because it happens. There comes a time for everything. Death penalty won't work, but I believe that there is time to protect those innocent minds. Let the broken be broken (because it will be a very hard struggle to get them back), but don't let the pure get brainwashed. If we all can put the mindset of how peace works, there will definitely be less terrorism. Less death penalties.
Here's the logic. How can a terrorist get his followers? Not by violence, I'm sure. But he must have them believe in him. Through good words, supporting lies, and a great deliverance. Imagine how words and attitudes work. If take one's life, how can they not hate you? So they just plot another revenge and the stories will sadly never end.
In conclusion, death is not ours to take. Whatever the reason is, it is never the best answer. And I certainly am against it.
By Amanda Inez (email@example.com) (www.twitter.com/mandainez)
I am so fascinated by those singers who are really care about this world. I know that they can only share what's common on them : their voices.
Yes, WE ARE THE WORLD, WE ARE THE CHILDREN. Who else will try to make things better if it's not us? Who else will start making changes?
Let's start giving. We've taken so much from the earth without giving it back.
A change will only come when we stand together as one. War is not changing lives to be better.
There's a choice we're making. It depends now in what you choose.
By Amanda Inez (firstname.lastname@example.org) (www.twitter.com/mandainez)
Let's just wonder if you had a large aquarium. And you had enough money to buy everything. What would you buy to fill it? Would you buy many fish with different types?
That aquarium I am talking about is actually our world. We live in this beautiful diversity. I am talking about the people all around the world, with their own unique appearance and special abilities. So why are we having these silly war? Is it because we hate diversity, or is it because of two greedy people fighting for power and they look for something that can possibly be the reason for a war : our diversity?
What is so wrong about living together in diversity? Can't people just appreciate others and have a great life? Can't we just accept the way people are without being annoyed or even without annoying people? A war starts when someone feels greater than others, and he wants to make things the way he wants to be. And then there are some people who don't agree, and, bam! It is war already.
I can't find at least one good effect on war. People might say, if you win a war, your name will be written in the world's history. Well personally I don't want to be known as a war maniac. I much prefer to be known as the peace maker. Seriously. Why is it so hard to understand?
I dislike war. I dislike conflict. And this is the 21th century. I think everything can be solved nicely without any violence. Why waste great people for one man's greed? Why waste the differences life has given to us? Why do some people love to threat and kill others? I bet Muslims and Christians can live normally and happily. I bet black people and white people can live together. The only thing that makes a difference is OUR MIND. If we all have a clear mind, then wars will never happen. But because of one sick mind, the world becomes a chaotic place.
So start with your own mind. Do you want war, or do you want peace?
And then the final question is : Do you want us to live in a beautiful diversity, or in a monotone and boring world?
How will your big aquarium be?
By Amanda Inez (email@example.com) (www.twitter.com/mandainez)
What makes us better humans than the places we live in?
When you wake up, don't you want to hear the birds chirping, feeling the cool morning breeze, seeing how the sun rises and shines? And when you are walking on the streets, don't you want to walk beside a flowery garden that makes you feel relaxed?
Maybe everyone is now aware of the GLOBAL WARMING ISSUE and the greenhouse effect. Maybe flood happens more frequently than in the past years. Maybe the climate changes so dramatically. You know why? It's mostly because of us. And again, we can't blame anyone for the earth's deadly condition. We took the chance to have a more instant living, but we forget that we already damaged the earth without entirely fixing it.
Factories are built; air conditioners, hairsprays, and electricity are used. Trees are felled. I can say that we are manipulating the earth without giving back what it has before. And I know that some people have the vision to make a change. Some green movements are now run by countries. But a few people with high missions are nothing if they don't get the support from everyone. Let's just say that if a thousand of people are trying to plant new trees, and million others cut them back, it will mean nothing.
The world is ours, because we live together inside it. If you want to live in a better future, NOW is the time to change. Well you don't have to be inside an organization and do the campaign all the time. There are always simpe-but-helping ways. For example :
1. Turn off all the electricity you don't use. Don't leave them on stand-by 2. Use both sides of paper. Don't waste it like it means nothing to you 3. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE 4. Take a walk if you want to go somewhere close. It makes you healhty too. 5. Make sure that your tap is fully shut when you don't use it
AND MANY MORE!
If you can make a good habit, and there are millions of people like you, I am completely sure that we can actually change. A simple action can make a great change.
Create a better environment, live healthy, be happy.
By Amanda Inez (firstname.lastname@example.org) (@mandainez) picture source : http://effectsglobalwarming.org
Hi, before I start discussing about this topic, let me introduce myself first. My name is Amanda Inez. I am a freshman at Sheridan College, Canada. I came from Indonesia where I consider is very much related to this topic.
I was born in Indonesia, from (luckily) a complete family. I'm not saying that I'm rich, but at least I live happily with some things I can always get from my family. At the age of six, my family started to hire maids. FYI, it's very common to each adequate family to have one or more maids. And so, a lady has been working in our house for such a long time, until now.
One thing that I want to share is, not everyone in my country was born in an adequate family. Many live in poverty and hunger. They have a bad education, they have bad nutrition. They don't have the chance to get a better education. They don't have the chance to enjoy the entertainment nowadays.
When I was still in Indonesia, our maid used to bring her son. This son was about three years old. He didn't have the chance to go to kindergarten or playgroup. He didn't have the chance to eat healthy. I remember because my mother often gave him milk and meat, because our maid had two more children, and the salary she received won't be enough to feed them, to send them to school, or to have at least a sufficient health care.
Well, I'm sure that Indonesia does pay a lot of attention to this severe problem. But I can't see a better path of them to reduce poverty and hunger among our people. Sometimes in my old school, we were asked to give some donation to those who are poor. Anything would be acceptable. And we did give a lot. But year to year, time to time, I'm feeling that there are no progress in their lives. They still live in the same condition as they were, they still ask for our donation. And this makes me think that maybe there's something wrong with the donation's delivery. Did they really get what we gave?
I don't want to blame anyone. I'm just trying to open our government's minds. That without well-educated people, our country will be nothing. I believe that there are lots of untapped potentials in Indonesia. We need to dig more potentials. We need to help each other, find one great solution that will last long. Of course, if the government and social charity agents work together in the right mission, I believe that anything is possible. Indonesia can reduce the number of poverty and hunger.
I also believe that this thing happens outside Indonesia, too. There are lots of countries that need our help. If we stay quiet, who will help them? What will this world become?
By Amanda Inez (email@example.com) (www.twitter.com/mandainez)