Go Out and Help the Poor Living Around You!

M. Syahruzzaky Romadloni
Siliwangi University, Indonesia

This morning I had a terrible experience. My family’s maid-servant, Bi Soleha, had a call from a school in where her son is studying. The officer asked her the reason of her son’s absence in the school for a long time. She answered that she didn’t know that her son was absent for that long time, for she always found him went from his home to school every morning and went home in the evening. She never thought that her son went to other places, but school. Furthermore, five days ago he asked her for some money, for he wanted to go on a trip to Pangandaran Beach. He said that it was a school program, but actually it wasn’t. Bi Soleha was very confused as she didn’t know where her son is now. Nothing to do, she just can cry and complain her wicked life.

Bi Soleha is very poor. She has two children to support and her husband is working in Metropolitan Jakarta. The first is the boy I’ve told and he is still studying in junior high school. The second is a daughter and she still studies in elementary school. Since her husband’s family didn’t accept her to live in their house, she had no house to live in. Then, my family gave her a shack not far from my house as we didn’t have any additional room in our house. Every day, Bi Soleha, her son and her daughter live in a 2×3 meters shack.

A year ago, her first son was dropped out from the school where I’m employed. He was always absent as often as he is now in his new school. Even though my school is a boarding one, he never stayed there and he often missed a great number of school’s programs. Finally, my uncle, the headmaster of school, dropped him out for these reasons. I actually was very upset, for I knew that he would get a wild environment if he studied outside this school. And it proved right!

Bi Soleha, in this case, then suffers from many bad things. Poverty, having naughty children, being expelled from the home, tiring working days and many other bad things are the common conditions of her daily life.

***

The story about Bi Soleha and other people living in the same condition as she does always makes me wonder why they always get the sequence of bad things in their life! They are poor and they often have other bad things which cause them suffer more. It can vary in reality such as having naughty children, being driven away from their houses, being expelled in the community, etc. One bad thing isn’t enough to make them suffer. It seems that the life is a kind of curse before them.

It can be said then that poverty which many people like Bi Soleha suffer from is a sequenced package of bad things in life. They cannot live in a permanent home as they are poor and they don’t have any money to buy it. They cannot send their children to schools as they cannot afford to pay such large school’s fees. Having lack access to a qualified education, they cannot compete with other educated people for getting the job. In this way, their poverty then becomes a status-quo which continues constantly. It’s absolutely right if we say that a poor father will bear a poor son.

Seeing sequenced of their bad things often succeeds to make my eyes fall their tears. I cannot suppose how I will be if I lived as how they live. It seems that I’ll never be as strong as they are to face the heavy burdens of life. Blaming and complaining will probably the main things I do when facing this kind of God’s fate. Na’udzubillah.

What makes me sad more and more is that their life really contrasts to what I’m facing now. When they have no house to live in, I have the permanent one. When they can’t send their children to schools, the parents of mine can. When they fight against the heat of the days to earn money, I easily get it in the end of the month. Finally, when they have no choice of how to conduct this life, I have many. Knowing this, I’m really eager to put my head before my Mighty God wondering the circumstance I’m seeing. Unfortunately, it isn’t strong enough to make me aware that their existence is a field of pious deeds God had given to us!

It’s worth to say that it’s not important talking about the reasons of why they live in this miserable condition. What should we do is taking a great attention to the questions of what contribution we can give concerning on freeing them from this suffering condition and how far we have done to make them look at this life onward positively.

I don’t mean blaming God’s fate. I believe what He gives to His creatures are the best. Unfortunately, we often fail to understand it deeply. The question then appears how wide you open your eyes witnessing this miserable condition. How much money have you spent to make them free from this condition? What I know from my God’s speech that this diversity is intentionally made by Him to make the rich eager to give some of their attentions to the poor.  So, what makes you sit here for a long time? Go out and help the poor living around you!

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