There is an urgent need for parents to stop blaming the government, our nation’s education system, or even teachers, for not giving sufficient moral education to their children.
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Last weekend, I took my nephews to a public swimming pool. Two hours later, I saw them yelling to (and prepared to hit) another kid. The cause was simple, the other kid felt annoyed by the splashes of water that my nephews made when they jump from the pool side. It’s a swimming pool, and he was annoyed by splashes of water?! Come on..
But another thing caught my attention, and it was the anger that my nephews exhibited. To my observation, they were both angry but also -happy- to encounter such opportunity where they can make other kids afraid of them. They enjoyed the dispute, and they were proud of themselves. It almost felt like they have so many negative energy inside, which can finally be unleashed.
Yesterday was the announcement day of UN (national examination) result for high school students in Surabaya. And just like previous years, it was a tradition for them to paint names on each others’ uniforms, continued with a motorbike ride around the city. It was a celebration of freedom which, to most older people, were considered as useless. But what happened yesterday was worse. Some students brought our nation’s red-and-white flag, filled with scratches of paint on it. And a wave of protests from people both old and young, was published through Twitter.
Most of them demand those students to be arrested, while others, like always, blame the education system and its institution for not teaching appropriate behavior toward our sacred symbol: the red and white flag.
Can we blame the students for not ‘treating’ our flag with respect?
Things that happened to my nephew, or to Surabaya’s “Bonek” (fanatic supporters of Persebaya soccer club) who often ends in violence raise a question to guiltless parents who can only blame others but themselves. Unleashed emotions can turn to negative actions if parents didn’t respond to what their children need. Kids are always full of energy and curiosity, and it is their parents’ responsibility to help them determine the correct actions.
As for the flag incident, I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal out of it or even punish them to court. I know our flag is supposed to be treated with respect, but does anyone ever bother to explain to their children “Why?”
Maybe to the student who scratched it, our ‘sacred’ flag was just a symbol. A fabric which can absorbs paints, a spontaneous act without further thinking about destroying something that supposed to be loved. And when it comes to love, who can blame anyone for not loving something? Maybe they were guilty of being disrespectful to the flag, but whose fault is it for not giving them a country to love?
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