Between Parenthood and Poverty

(source: fxperth.com and illustrationage.files.wordpress.com)
(source: fxperth.com and illustrationage.files.wordpress.com)

I was born and grew up in an archipelagic developing country located in South-East Asia, endowed with spacious and fertile soil, but sadly occupied with mentally poor governments and people. Indeed, I am an Indonesian and I grew up in Indonesia. Sometimes, when I envisage about,

How does it feel like to be the President of a country that is suffused by endless problems?

It feels like there is too much problem at the point where it is hard to decide which problem should be solved first. Overpopulation and poverty. As far as I remember, ever since I learned about demographic studies back then in Elementary School, two main things that we always discussed are poverty and overpopulation, especially in the island of Java, and to be more specifically severe, in the capital city; Jakarta. The island of Java is 126.700 km² wide and occupied with 154 million people which are one of the most densely populated islands in the world because more than 50% of the total population occupy the island of Java. While Jakarta is 740 km² occupied with over 10 million people. Because of this overpopulated condition, poverty has become the main and endless problem in my country.

How could this happen? How did it start?

Many of the Indonesians are still overly conservative, low educated, fuddy-duddy and tend to do what their ancestors did and said. Moreover, if they were give a phrase by their ancestors, they tend to believe without trying to found out whether it’s true or not. These Indonesians are mostly peasants, or generally inhabitants from lower social class. There is a very famous (stupid) phrase, If you have many children, you will be endowed with lots of luck. That is why most of the poor people have many kids, and in the end, they (nearly all of them) neglected their children. Some of them order their kids to work even though they are still underage, some of them just throw them away haphazardly in a huge public garbage can,  some of them sell their babies, and some of them have their infants for lease. Hey, children never ask their mother to gave them birth, they can never choose their parents.

Yes, this is really sad and ironic.

There’s some kind of weird ‘tradition’ in Indonesia that if you do not get married soon, you are a pathetic unsold bitch. That’s why, many of the Indonesians are dying to get married even though they are still in High School or even Middle School, including many of the pupils in my school. As if marriage is some kind of achievement to be proud of. They are like, really want to get married at the point where they did not think marriage is likely the hardest part of life. They thought that in the moment they are finally married, their life is as beautiful as Cinderella story. Thus, what I am trying to say is many of the Indonesians get married without thinking and planning their housewifery, they have kids without thinking and planning beforehand, and for me the weirdest part is most of them haven’t had a job yet, haven’t had their own house yet–what I’m trying to say is they are not independent enough yet they are dying to get married soon. That is why Indonesia has this endless overpopulation and poverty problem.

Parenthood. For me, parenthood is a choice. When you and your spouse think you are independent enough to the point where you can afford your own house, buy a vehicle or have enough money for using daily transportation, and the most important thing is that you are ready, willing and able to support another human being, not only for you and your spouse. Because you will have to support your child needs such as affection, education, clothes, food, and the most important thing is how to build yourselves to become a good parent for them.

Thus, between parenthood and poverty, there must be a plan that will prevent both of them band together.

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2 thoughts on “Between Parenthood and Poverty

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