Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm truly humbled

And just a few days ago I received an invitation to a meeting from a reputable consulting company, inviting me to a meeting where they'd present their program on building leadership among high performing youth of Indonesia (hey, they did use the phrase high performing students).

So I prepared to attend the meeting, as the idea of exclusivity always appeals me. A good part of my mind thought it wouldn't be a good idea to dress down and my good ol' blue swallow is definitely out of the question. Shoes it is. Part and parcel with all the stains. After all, I don’t want to look like I’m overdressing and overdoing effort there. Hence my decision to wear a sweater. Little did I know that its collar is crooked all along. :-|

When I got there at 10 in the morning, I was slightly daunted--there were hundred or two attending the event--and I remembered myself silently mouthing "wow". Anyhow, they handed me a box embossed with "kartika sari" and I am happy.

And just when I think to myself that I got it poised and dignified--graceful, if you wish--I realized that there are crumbs all over the front side of my sweater and jeans. Ouch.

Moving on from my gracelessness, I myself think that I’m no natural leader, but more one that have seen and experienced being led by many. Of course, I have had several formal positions that put me in charge, and I’d say it can be grouped into two distinct categories:

(1) Resentful, non rewarding position that was handed involuntarily, so to speak. This goes a looooong way from my childhood, when somewhere in third or fourth grade of my elementary school year my teacher assign the role of class leader on one person. Ordinarily, the criteria are as follows: (a) a boy, and (b) have a good grade. The fact that I’m the youngest boy in the class doesn’t really bother them at all, while it does create problem as I don’t command people at all. Not when they're older.

I finally did evade this position in junior high, second year. Phew. Come to think of it, I’d love to blame my social inhibition to this scarring experience. Heheh.

My agony began yet again when i was asked to assume the leadership of a Remaja Masjid organization--I don’t quite know how to translate that--in the hood. Some of you readers might have seen one article mentioned me as a member of Rohis, and some of you might have seen me laugh heartily on the subject, but this was different. My sister had a really good time sneer me for my inability to refuse. Do remind me to write some other post of Javanese politeness. It was also another good reason for me to choose ITB over UGM.

And when i began my freshman year at ITB and people look up on me to--again? please--lead AS05 I just said to myself: "Ha ha. Ha ha." Along with rolling my eyeballs. See above for record on refusal inability.

But that was past. Phew again.

(2) Semi voluntary, less scorned position:
And of course I’m speaking of my presidency here at SEF, one that's going to be concluded in two month. And an earlier similar position in high school. Needless to say that I assume the position only because there's no one stepping up when the elderly graduates. And I simply care too much. Hey, come to think of it, that's too similar, isn't it? Hmmmmm.

All in all, I’d say I yield some friend from my involvement in organizations in the category (2). and it taught me so much i cant help but care, and stepping up. But really, it wasn’t that dreadful, save for the time when there's simply no one around.

Now can I interest you in a contrast from another organization, a lethargic one I’m also joining at the moment? I do pity our current leader, but I guess there's simply nothing that binds the member together aside from a tradition. Which is just sad. (For those it may concern, let it be noted that I don’t feel exactly at home there, and it began all the way from how they do the recruitment process. sorry to say but I just simply can't see more than the self-centered value it imposed). Urgh.

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