“they are not of the world, even as I am..” – John 17:16
Almost throughout my entire grown-up life, I have encountered quite a lot of good people who enthusiastically wondering why I chose to become a social worker. Most recently wondered why I was willing to leave my previous job as a TV producer (which they regarded as a great job), then work voluntarily, to devote myself to others.
This morning, the same scene was repeated. Returning from a 3-days visit to the schools where I managed the ‘young changemaker’ training, someone asked me why I want to go through this difficult path. A road less-traveled by, he said, because voluntary works won’t make the volunteers rich..:) A vague opinion. What does “poor” or “rich” even mean?
Honestly, I do not know the exact answer. One thing I know, I simply could not resist my conscience: a divine voice within me. If this needs to have a more precise answer, I learned to discern from my history of life, and set it to become my personal value, which is then I can easily explain to them who asked. Hopefully they become inspired too as well. But at least I have been keeping my perpetual values that I believe had already embedded deep within me, even long before I exist in this mortal world.
Social work introduced itself to me at a very tender age. Being born in the impoverished family, survived the near-death experience when I was just one month old, accepted that my parents got divorced when I was 7 years old, and eventually lived with my mother who also became a single parent for me and my siblings; those experiences taught me a great deal of the scars many of us carry. From the time I was seven and I lost my father, I felt different. I always felt that my being on this earth was for a reason and that I was destined to do something noble, notably to help unfortunate people like me. I have been in their shoes and it all starts with me.
I want to be a social worker because it feels right. My passion comes from knowing that changing the world starts from helping the helpless and being able to empathize with them. This is what makes me earnestly struggling to pursue higher education, trying to reach my Master’s and Doctorate degree in the US. This is also what has moved me to join the Indonesia Teaching Movement, founded Books For NTT, took part in so many charitable works, and recently joined with Ashoka to collaborate with leading social entrepreneurs to cultivate more changemakers from early stage. This is not for the praise, not for applause. I just want to share, to give more, to serve in silence. This end, to my tomorrow and those I will go on to serve, this is my story of life, my calling and my unswerving path.