Saturday, 29 August 2015

Against the Tides

Greece. Haiti.

These are some examples of the third world country that had a very low economics growth – each for a very different reason. Though the possible factors are unlikely, both countries had suffered the same consequences. I often wonder, which side does Economist usually take? The one side that profit the government or the other side that prioritising the welfare of the civilians.

We (Economics students) had been familiarise with the theory of Production Possibility Frontier (PPF), where in order to produce a certain degree of goods A, we had to forgo a certain degree of goods B because of the resources constraint. This is what we called as an opportunity cost. In order to produce a car, we had to forgo the negative social effect that it may cause (pollution and disease). To put with, it is inevitable to better off a party without worsening off the other party.

So, it went back to the question above; which side does the Economist usually take? Or is it possible to not taking side. We are not just dealing with the economy, we are also dealing with the people heavily relied by that economy. All these while, it was not just theories, formulas or models meant to be memorise for examination and forgotten later on, if not to alert us to improve the economic and social state of the people.

Nowadays, I can’t help laughing to myself realising how irrelevant all those theories and models are when applied to the real world. Instead, I don’t feel like I even need those two years of bloodshed tears when I found that you can just be anyone to be an ‘economics experts’. It irritates me more when most of our leaders who are well-equipped with Master in Economics aren’t even behaving like how they should be – scholarly and unpretentious.

Economics should be a tool to help people and to make better of the world. It should not be used to overpower the weak and exploit the poor. I got a friend who believes that economy had been a major reason that divided people.

I feel that economy should be our least priority in order to build a harmony country. We could see what had happened to our country when we are too focused to make greater of our economy. Because of economy, people are fighting with each other. All bad things had happened and it was all because of our greed to accomplish a better economic state!”

Honestly, to hear that kind of unjust accusation towards economy from a great scholar that are going to major in Economics itself are quite bizarre. I believe it was emotion that talks that night. To be swarm in a reality where you had no idea what the future are going to be and to not be able to do anything about it, it sure are sickening. It made you feel hopeless. Weirdly, these kinds of situations are always making me grow more determined.

There will always exit a fellow like him, the kind of economist that will always put people out of anything as their top priority. I, on the other hand, find it difficult to be of the same mind as him. Why did we always tend to choose a side when we are more than able to better off both? Ironically, the way we are thinking had already proved that the opportunity cost model was applicably right.

I had fall into arguments with some frineds last week.

Me : ‘Guys, someone asked me what side I’m on – fight or flight? What side you guys are on? Are you guys really wanted to fly?’

: ‘You don’t? Of course, I wanted to. But Kak Nani, what’s on your mind?’

: ‘Aren’t we already agreeing about this. That we’re going to give it all out. We have to have faith. We said that we’re going to help unfortunate people like Fizah and all, right? We have to fight. For their sake.’

Me : ‘Honestly, right now my priority is that for everybody to be able to receive the scholarship. If with me not flying JPA would consider sponsoring every each of us, that’s what I’m likely to do.’

Every time, I had always forced myself to not be selfish. To not talk or give any opinion when I’m on a bad state of emotion. To always be able to give solid justification on the things that I’m going to say or do. To contemplate factors, consequences, pros and cons. To ask when I’m in hesitation and having no knowledge about the issues asked. To hear and listen to others side of the story.

: ‘Government is government. Even though they don’t have any money, they could loan it elsewhere..’

Sometimes, when bad things happened we tend to point a finger. We tend to find the cause of the problems and we only look at the bad point that they had done? I asked you this. Does it do any help? In fact, it did nothing. When situations like this came, I often wonder which side I am. I’m not favoring the government, but I don’t entirely blame them. And it’s not like I don’t think about the people’s welfare, I do.

Me : ‘Please don’t think it like that. This is our country. Think about the future generations, they deserve to be sponsored like we did too.’

Sometimes, I could be quite harsh. But, that would be when I want my words to be heard. You don't have to be totally agree with me but I just want you to spare some time to listen and give it a deep thought before you started listing out speculations and giving false judgments. I honestly don’t take sides. When dealing with the reality as of today, it’s hard to even point a finger. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? How would we even know? All these while, many had asked the wrong question. No, do we even know what the right questions to ask are?

Everywhere you turned, you could clearly see that people are pressed. And in many situations like this, we tend to make the wrong decision. We are rush in making judgement, we don't think. We feel like we are doing it right, but the truth is we are dead wrong. And we will be regretting it, sooner or latter.

It brought me to realise that actually I had been playing a game at BTN that was so much alike with the situation I had encounter these days.

We were given a piece of paper, the instruction given to us was very clear. Read all of the questions, than answer them within 4 minutes. I could still remember the facilitator repeating the same instruction over and over. However, the part that we selectively payed attention to is only 'Answer all of the questions within 4 minutes!'. And as soon as we flipped the paper up, we turned into a race against times and tried to answer as many questions as possible.

Then, I stopped a minute and turned to my friend on the left. Why aren't she writing anything? Whatever, I better finish this fast. No, wait. Really, why aren't she practically doing anything? Something is wrong. This is wrong, isn't it. I turned to her again. She repeated the previous instruction given by the facilitator. I know, in 4 minutes right? She shakes her head hard and point to the bottom of the paper.

Bewildered. I gave her a surprised look. The last instruction say, if you are a Muslim only answer question number 10 and 15. I f you are a non-Muslim please answer all question beside question number 10 and 15.

That moment when you realised you had made a fool of yourself and it's just too late to do anything, it's hurting my pride. That was something really precious that I had learned there. And I really don't intend to fool myself a second time this time. I also don't want my friends to make the same mistakes again. So, try to give it some times when you are making a decision. Get rid all of the factors that might pressured you up like families, moneys, times, expectations and negative emotions. Consider the choices you have and the risk that might come up. I had stressed it many times to all of my friends, think!