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Watatita: Why Jakarta Inequality Gap Widens

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    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/jakartajungle/watatita-why-jakarta-inequality-gap-widens/581920 March 25, 2013 | by Alexia Cahyaningtyas Watatita: Why Jakarta
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2013
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      March 25, 2013 | by Alexia Cahyaningtyas

      Watatita: Why Jakarta Inequality Gap Widens


      Watatita is inspired by Wayang Beber, updated through the eyes of a modern Javanese woman. (Drawing by Alexia Cahyaningtyas). Watatita is inspired by Wayang Beber, updated through the eyes of a modern Javanese woman. (Drawing by Alexia Cahyaningtyas).

      I I I have written about socio-economic issues inequality in Jakarta, but until I see some changes, I won't stop writing about it.

      In the past, I have always received harsh criticisms from readers whenever I write about this topic. But truthfully, I feel that people need to be constantly reminded about the issue. Jakartans witness socio-economic inequality every single day — but they are so used to it to the point they are blinded to it.

      Many of us are too comfortable in our own luxury to help others who need it. A lot of big companies invest a huge amount of assets, yet they give so little to their own employees.

      People often argue that they have the right to keep their money and spend it the way whatever they want to. There are some people out there who actually believe that poor people shouldn't be helped because it's their own fault that they end up in such situation.

      These people are financially unfortunate because they lack of education. If only the government would put more investment on education, then we should be able to see some changes. Or if some big companies out there would give back a little to the people, then we should witness an improvement in our own people.

      If some of the rich people would stop spending money on things they don’t really need, and somehow gather a bit of empathy, they should get more involved in helping to fix schools, help build community centers, or spend their money on things that could help other people.

      It's so sad to see big companies thriving and more middle-class individuals reaching the top, yet the socio-economic gap grows larger. The imbalance is staggering. It shows how humans are increasingly becoming ignorant and selfish.

      We do have the right to earn money and spend it as we wish. But there is nothing wrong in investing your money to help other people. Think about it. If you could afford iPads or sport new fashion, then you could also spare some money to sponsor a child't school tuition or make donation. All we have to do is to help them gain more opportunities in life so that they could get a better job, thus better future.

      I worry that if the rich get much richer and the poor get poorer, there is a big chance that the 1998 catastrophe could happen again. What's sad is that those who call themselves the "people's representatives" do very little to assist the people.

      Of course, not all wealthy people are stuck up, ignorant and selfish. I know a lot of wealthy people who have done a lot for this country. Every one of us should learn from them and follow their footsteps.

      I'm aware that this post makes it all sound easy. But we will never create a better Jakarta if we just sit there, not making an effort and thinking about our own good. I believe that once someone reaches a certain amount of income, it should be mandatory for them to either donate, sponsor or help provide people with opportunities. This could help prevent decrease crime rates, it could potentially narrow the socio-economic gap, better solidarity among the people of Jakarta, and build a culture of empathy.

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