A friend called me up for a casual chat on a Saturday evening. She was telling me about her work, family and the daily routine living. There seems to be so many things to do in the office as well as at home, with so little time to do it. Also, the family bills are piling up, cost of food and living is going up, teachers are asking for money from her children to buy books and uniform and many more problems. She find life stressful and feel that living in Jakarta is pressurizing, just like an oven. She missed the casual free and easy living in her hometown in West Java, where her mom is still staying.
I agree that living in Jakarta or other major cities in Indonesia is not easy, as the cost of living is much higher than in villages. But thousands of people flocked to the cities of Indonesia each year – to find a better life, to put their kids in good schools, to get better medical care and the list goes on. But there is definitely a price to pay if you want to stay in Jakarta. Better living, good school, quality medical care and life means a higher cost of living. It simply means that you must pay more for all these things. The cost of a condominium or a landed property is not cheap in Jakarta. In fact, I find that the prices of condominium homes are ridiculously high. Education is also expensive in Jakarta. I just don’t understand why the government and Jakarta administration are not able to make education more affordable, so that every kid in Jakarta can have an opportunity to go to school. Kids from the poor families simply cannot afford to pay the school fees, books and uniform. I am sure the government and Jakarta administration can work out a subsidy program to help these poor families; so that their young kids can get an opportunity to study.
Coming back to my friend, I told her that her problems are similar to many thousands of her fellow citizens living in Jakarta. She has to learn to take things slowly and resolve important problems first. In many instances, we cannot solve all problems, some can be resolved quickly, some problems need more time and others we just simply try our best to manage it. Though life is not a bed of roses, we still can find joy in living under stressful environment. I told her to be realistic in her expectations in work and towards to her husband and kids, learn to relax through meditation or exercise, cut down on unproductive activities – one of it was to stop going to the mall frequently; and look at life more positively. In many instances, problems are in fact opportunities –
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles R. Swindoll
We are not able to control the situations and things that comes to us every single day. That is beyond our control. But we can control how we respond to situations and problems. So long as we have put in our best effort and interest in the things that we do, we have respond it positively and that to me is good enough. Finally, I told my friend to slow down and smell the roses, admire pretty flowers and what nature can offer us – it does help to relieve stress and anxiety.
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