Thursday, January 10, 2008

To Forgive and to Forget

It's like a ritual for politicians, activists and the media. Whenever the ex-President was rushed to Pertamina hospital to get super-special treatments for his recurring critical conditions, these group of people refresh the endless debates on issue whether the government and the attorney general office should drop the legal processes towards him and his foundations or not.

At the age of 86, however, he's now in one of the worst conditions ever, and there may not be another episodes of the ritual. The military also didn't deny the news that the institution has already prepared everything related with the funeral of one of the two five-star generals. What will happen when the strong man finally meets silently the angel of death?

Many people, including myself, if I were not called earlier, will probably do a mass solemn pray, for a person who have contributed to the wealthiness of many Indonesians, military officers, government officials and business people, as well as to huge number of foreigners who made great fortunes out of the exploited soils, seas and tropical forests of Indonesia and from the huge foreign debts that it's committed to.

Many ordinary people, such as farmers, also enjoyed descent lives with subsidized fertilizer and relatively stable price during harvest times. It's true that there were still many poor people during his era, there were also legendary corruption practices, dirty politics, human rights violations, power abuses, but who were to blame?

There are free lunches, but they may not be that often. There are costs needed to be paid. The more we get things, the more costly they will be, and sometimes the costs are just way too high. Whilst we are paying the bill now for things that were done in the past, but we are still practicing the same things now. The excessive exploitations of mother earth are still heard loud and clear today, and government projects funded by foreign debts are not rare either.

This republic has ever had two strong leaders, each with his unique towering strengths and eye-naked weaknesses. These are the leaders who inspired people and made changes to the nation, albeit in different ways. Many people suffered severely during their rulings, but many others got huge benefits. It seems that we have forgiven and forgotten the weaknesses of the first, will we be able to do the same with the latter one then?

Those who see themselves as champions of justice, who want to uphold the law in the strictest way, still urge the ex-president to be brought into court, without anymore delay. It doesn't matter in what conditions he's in today, or whether he's still alive or has crossed the one-way border to other world.

Sometimes I had a thought that these people believe more in legal aspects rather than in their own religions and conscience. Honestly, I do not believe in law. Okay, I may do believe in what is written, but with a huge reservation on the implementation of it. Remember, champions also have their own horrible weaknesses.

To forgive deals with the heart, and to forget deals with memory in our brains. In reality it's hard to erase things from our hearts and brains. What we can do is to put them in neutral positions, without judgment, and let the Great Judge deals with them.

If you were to make a choice, which one will you do: not to forgive and not to forget, to forgive and not to forget, not to forgive and to forget, or to forgive and to forget? Don't worry, there is no absolute right or absolute wrong answer.


  1. for me, will be very easy to forgive, but never forget...but I will always remember him as a smilling general, as a 2nd president of Indonesia, as someone who always rembember Javanesse culture, a lot a good thing to remember, but a lot of a bad thing that I will never forget..

  2. He always be my President ever after......there is no perfection in this world, never.....

  3. Theology speaking then every believer must be a forgiving person and of course theology also teaches us to not trouble other people.

    The decision is yours to make, you can either forgive him or not to forgive him.

  4. It is interesting to see how people are dancing around this. Is it possible to forgive? Perhaps. But forget? Never. Perhaps it is a generational thing. Many have prospered. Yet many are dead. Where is responsibility? Where is justice? Where are the monuments to these dead?

  5. @amethys: yeah, if we can let go that bad memories, and keep the good ones, life may become a lot lighter jeng, but it's an easy thing to say...

    @endang: agree jeng, there is no perfect leader, we just hope not to become one of the victims of their weaknesses...

    @Abi Bakar: that's very true bung. forgiveness is probably also related with a person's submission to the almighty's will.

    @Ultratupai: justice may come in a strange way bung..., and no death occured without an approval from the one who awards it.

  6. Saya setuju dengan amethys kalau memaafkan dan melupakan adalah 2 hal yang berbeda.
    Buat saya, memaafkan itu terkadang sulit sekali, apalagi melupakan... ^o^

  7. @LiSan Skywalker: iya sih nduk, untuk memaafkan bisa butuh waktu berminggu2, bahkan bertahun2. Perlu berdamai dengan diri sendiri, orang lain, dan nasib. sementara belum ada software yg bisa menghapus memory tertentu manusia :)

  8. seperti lagunya the corrs lah ... im forgiven but not forgotten ...
    si eyang kan manusia biasa ... gak ada salahnya ikut mendoakan dan memaafkan dia

  9. @ichaAwe: weh keknya perlu dianalisis lagi lanjut nih, knapa orang lebih mudah memaafkan ketimbang melupakan. kali2 memaafkan itu ada pada tingkatan kyai, sedangkan melupakan itu sudah pada tingkatan sufi ya nduk... :D

  10. mungkin kita bisa mengatakan maaf, tapi untuk melupakan? itu pekerjaan sulit...

    doakan saja yan tebaik untuk "Bapak Pembangunan" kita ini kasian juga lama-lama ngeliatnya...

  11. @verlita: iya nduk, perlu olah batin untuk sampai ke tingkatan sufi...
    semoga si bapak dibebaskan dari belenggu dunia dengan baik dan anak2 republik semakin matang melihat hitam putihnya perjalanan bangsa ini.

  12. Mas, I’m one of the protesters back then loh!
    Remembrance how much I dislike this man.
    Now it’s all in the past, so I forgive n forget…
    And ya, I’m with you, "Justice may come in the strange way". We’ll see what happen...

  13. @TASH: it's a bless to have peace in you heart, mind and soul nduk. let the dirty and the dark sides of politics and powers take care of themselves.

  14. memaafkan si bapak tapi tidak untuk anak2nya...

  15. @cewektulen: iya nduk. meski sejarah-kiprah bapak dan anak sering tak terpisahkan, namun smoga saja anak cucunya bisa membuat penebusan selayaknya...

  16. tes, mas kok saya susah yach kasih komen ?

  17. @Aris Heru Utomo: itu paman blogger lagi ngadat lagi bung, loading komen juga lama ya...
    salam dari tanah air.

  18. I agree with this

    there is no absolute right or absolute wrong....

    better to forgive him as a human, but not his cruelness to the people n country which were against the law. I also don't believe in Indonesian's law, however do our best to reinforce it. His family can pay back his debt especially the country's asset corrupted by them :)

  19. @Putirenobaiak: nduk, sometimes i had a thought that isn't it useless to return the money back to the state, as it would only be re-corrupted by another crooked people?

  20. hmm
    Finally, I don t care with all those polemics, because i know those will useless.

    Skecptics? yes.. i m skeptic.

    And now you see... we re all looser.. the smiling general still stood..
    everybody have being silly for the last two weeks.

  21. @retnanda: yeah, I didn't follow the news these last few days until just now. I learned from that his condition is apparently improving.
    This person is special nduk, in whatever sense, and hence the news on him will still hit the headlines, especially at his age... Some people may have a mixed feeling, whether it's good for him to go now or later..., but we are not to decide...

  22. I choice to forgive and not to forget

  23. alangkah berjiwa besarnya orang yang bisa memaafkan dan melupakan....karena hal ini sulit sekali untuk di praktekan