[Jakarta, LttW] Over a month ago, on July 4, United States celebrated its Independence Day. Just a few days ago, India and Pakistan celebrated theirs, and today is Indonesia’s turn to do the same. Celebration, and Independence are the two keywords that we need to look into, especially when the world has been struggling with so many disturbing issues, like terrorism, extremism, global warming, corruption, worsening education, social media phenomena, war, refugee, food shortage, etc. How should we celebrate our independence if we are yet to resolve these matters?
To celebrate is to be proud of what we have tangibly (like natural resources and people), and intangibly, such as values (integrity, work ethos, mutual respect, and solidarity), tradition, unity and so on. To celebrate also means to be grateful for what we have genuinely achieved, not bragging about the self-indulging praises that are full of exaggerations. Celebrating is also about contemplating and admitting not only what we have not achieved, but also what we have done wrongly.
How about independence itself? How should we perceive this word? Independence is about being independent in two main areas, self reliant in supporting ourselves, and having the freedom and/or sovereignty to decide our destiny as a nation. Being self-reliant and sovereign do not mean that we can live independently from the others because eventually we will be in need of the help from others. With this in mind, independence then also means interdependent. So celebration is not a mere partying, is more about getting mature in the making.
So, Happy Independence Day to the nations that have matured over the years, and will continue to mature in the future.