Two Indonesian Ministers were arrested for corruption just before the commemoration of World Anti-corruption Day on the 9th of December. The first case charged the Minister of Marine Affairs with bribery for a lobster export license. The second case charged the Minister of Social Affairs of corruption in the allocation of the Covid 19 Social Assistance Fund.
When we hear the news in the media about corruption cases, we often feel like there is no way out, like there is no hope; Indonesia is and always will be corrupt. The question of how we are going to get out of the corruption that permeates this country is very close to our personal lives. But we do not give up!
Peace Place Pati has committed to building a culture of peace by inviting people to practice the skills we need for peace and justice. We conveyed this commitment on November 28, 2020 through an online Power of Goodness training in Indonesia. We invited people to reflect on a story we read and activities we did together.
In our cooperative agreements to build a culture of peace, we agree to live in integrity with the transforming power of life. This includes being honest. Are we honest with ourselves? How can we speak and act honestly in line with our conscience? To reflect on personal experiences, we invited participants to remember and recount their experiences of relying on honesty.
Tito shared his story, “When I was the student council president in high school, the student council organized a study tour. Some friends suggested that the leftover money be used for other activities, but Tito said no. He suggested that it should be returned and eventually it was returned through their respective class leaders. For me, I have to dare to say no if it doesn’t match what was agreed upon before.
Jati shared his story of how he is honest with himself, “When I am given a heavy responsibility and feel unable to carry it, I will say that I cannot do it.” Satria (10-years-old, the youngest participant) said that he refused to cheat on tests at school, when his friends were all cheating. Nugroho said he had an opportunity to escape the traffic police, but he chose to admit his mistake and accept the consequences. Esty talked about when she was the secretary of a working group on campus. A group leader asked her to falsify a supervisor’s signature because it was urgent, but she said no and reprimanded the group leader. Wiwit said after he completed a survey for an event his friends asked him to eat using the committee’s money, He refused because there had not been any discussion and agreement about the use of money.
After everyone shared their stories, we reinforced each other that everyone has experienced and has the strength to rely on honesty. Everyone has the kindness and ability to act honestly, openly, and acknowledge their abilities and strengths by not exaggerating them. Honesty is a value that can be practiced in everyday life.
We live in a world and face a lot of violence that goes around. But peace is always in each of us. There is always a sense of optimism that peace is possible.