Less Harmful Decision

I got list of good movies that I wanted to see, mostly based on theme that got my interests, such as law, court, justice, prejudice, psychology, and criminal. I am interested in logical thinking based on facts but do not take those facts blindly without deep thinking.

12 Angry Men, released in 1957. The format is all in black and white, but I just love it so much. The movie was started with a judge giving some kind of talk, I am not sure how to call it, to the jurors, so that they could go to a special room and discuss to decide whether a man was guilty or not guilty, and the decision should be uninomous.

And then we were brought to the juror’s room. The 12 jurors entered the room one after the other. Some men took a seat directly, while some others took off their jacket because of the hot wheather and the air conditionaire was not working. Some other stood by the window, some other talked, small talked, and there was one man who went to the rest room. It’s all done in one shot, reminded me of “Sybil” the old movie about multiple personality. I just can’t believe that classic movies are so amazing.

These 12 men almost came to one decision that the man on trial was found guilty. But then the conflict began to start when there was a man who vote for not guilty. And the story went on as this one man tried to give the arguments toward his ‘not-guilty’ vote. Until one by one he succeeded to break the evidences that have been shown in the court room to be unacceptable, and to show the other 11 men that there were possibilities for the witnesses to make mistakes in their testimonies.

What I learned from this movie was that it is difficult to set ourselves free from our prejudices when it come to judge or value something or somebody. It is so true, you know. When we also face the decision making, a lot of things will get on our way, like the prejudices we have on something, the stereotypes of something. Also if we involve our personal matter on it, like our goal, like if the decision we are about to make will influence our job, our own interest, our ‘precious’ time, etc. These things and other things that I probably failed to mention will definetely get on our way.

Eventhough we already set our mind to only follow facts, just remember that there is always possibilities that people might make mistakes. We as human can only try and pray so that our Rabb, Allah, will show us the way to think clearly, in a calm state, and clear our mind from all prejudices and stereotypes.

But again, we can never make logic as the only one matter on this earth. Logic is just a way to help us to find the less harmful decision, I believe. Because if the logic stands alone, you’ll be in the same group witht hose who worship logic and science. But if you guide logic with faith, believe, and religion, you’ll have guidance to drive your logic to make a less harmful decision.

I hope I can drive my logic wisely.

I also learned that by observing and listening more in calm state will give us a clear picture. Just like 12 jurors who should sit there, listening to all what the both lawyers have to show and convince them. We as human also need to do the same when we come to a situation in which a friend, sister, or whoever who might need our advice. To listen patiently. Because we can observe their mimic, gesture, expression, their tone, etc, etc, ’cause boy, how people love to be heard with full attention.

To continue the previous pharagraph, about how we should stay calm while observing and listen to those who speak with us is because we have to rememer that everyone has their side of story. It’s just in their story people tend to put themselves as the victim and the other side almost always play the bad guy. I am quite confident about the last sentence. So that is why you should listen with full attention to every word a person is telling you. And always put it in your mind that people tend to tell you what they believe, what they see, and what they want to see, what they want to hear.

Just like in court. Both lawyers from the state and defendant or the accused only show the judge and jurors what they want to show them, in order to win the case. So you have to understand that there will always some information and fact, left hidden and uncovered. Same goes with those who come to you for advice.

So a good listener will not make assumption only based on one side of a story, she/he will look for other side of a story or to pull apart all the information she/he got from one side of story that’s been told by one person.

“It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this, wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.
I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know.
Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent. But, we’re just gambling on probabilities.
We may be wrong, we may be trying to let a guilty man go free.
I don’t know. Nobody really can.
But, we have a reasonable doubt, and that’s  very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s sure”.

Comment about the scnene:
After the judge let the jurors to talk in the special room, the camera shot an empty room with twelve seats around a table. It showed us the attitude of every characters who will decide whether the defendant found guilty or not. For about 7 minutes there was no change of camera frame, you know like the angle of shooting. And I almost think that the movie was going to take only one shot. But then there was a changing of the camera, shooting from across the room. But, it’s not a big deal, cause I still love it.

The scene was almost taken place in that tiny room for about an hour and twenty minutes duration of the movie. If we are to compare it to movies which took place in different setting and how it make people attracted to watch, or maybe that is what you look for in a movie, then you’ll find this movie boring.
But again, if you are looking for a movie which is full of meaning, rich dialogue, intense conflict, you will love this one.


Not a Good Friend of Birthday

“I am not a good friend of birthday, you know”. She said one day after I asked her about her birthday, what she got, what she did, and what she want for the present.

“Not a surprise” said I.

“Excuse me?” She then threw her eyes to me, with interrogative gaze.

“No offense, okay? It’s just my opinion on what you probably think about birthday”. Then she drew a smile and we both laughed out loud not that loud that people will shut us up.

Then she told me that she has never had a birthday party ever, even though she came to her friend’s, two or three. She admited that she really didn’t mind not to have a party, since she hated it. There’s too many people, too noisy, and too other trivia things.

“I once went to a birthday party of a friend, it was in elementary school and I thought it was cool, but it’s not that cool. Everyone’ wearing their best dress, boys and girls, the nicest one I guess. And I think it now, those are stupid. I just don’t like it, coz there’s clown, balloons, and stupid game.” Said she while she’s busy with her writing. Yeah, she’s talking while writing, quite a nerd.

“And in the third year of college, I got mopped, you know. My dorm mates made a prank on me. You know, the usual happy-birthday-prank. I didn’t buy it. I fought back. I set the one whom supposed to blame me to her bad nerve. I just laughed my heart out. You know what she said after I discovered the prank? She was saying that she will never do any birthday prank ever again. How cool was that? I won that moment”. She’s not writing anymore, but laid back to the chair she’s sitting on and looked at the scene out of the window.

She then told me about what happened in her fourth year of college. Someone else was trying to set her on fire by intentionally talking aloud about her at her back as if she’s not listening. And of course the prank was meant to put her on fire and mission completed. Everyone in the dorm was surprised and frightened to witness her anger, since she’s not a bad tempered person in front of everybody else. She  managed to control it and be calm. But that day everyone saw that bad side, and worried abou the prank-thing. They then thought about how to end the prank, coz it’s gotten too far.

She’s telling me with big smile on her face, as if she’s telling me that she won too that day. Eventhough she thought that it’s real and felt ashamed of it. She kept telling me everything about birthday party that made her to be a not-good-friend of birthday but honestly what I get from her story is that she enjoyed it but didn’t want to admit it.

“My group member,” she started again after drinking her coffee, “cancelled our last rehearsal for presentation just because she wanted to have a birthday party at her friend’s. It really drove me crazy since she texted us all 5 minutes before the dealt time”. She ends that with a sigh.

We both are on silent, since honestly we both knew why she hated birthday that much. But it will be more easier for her to say it in different way ’cause it’s a rare thing for her to speak her mind. Yeah, we both knew it very well, but it’s already a good thing for her to loose the burden on her heart and mind for a bit.

“However”, she said in brighter tone, “I do give present to myself”, as she walked away and waved to me, leaving me alone in the coffee shop.

Cover Both Sides

I watched “Philomena” an award winning movie the other day. There was a scene in which the main characters talked about books they read, and something crossed my mind.

It’s about how people interpret a book or a moment. They all have different perspectives.They retold it in different ways.

Just look around you whenever you met your friend who has the same craziness like you about movies. Just pay attention on how they recommend a movie or a book to you.
What are you discussing? The actors? The landscape on it? The dialogue? The technical things?
It shows you how different everyone interprets everything. People intend to tell you things that they see, things they want to see.
So that, instead of being manipulated by these prejudices, we as a logial human being, should judge everyones side of story carefully and wisely.

Aim For The First Prize

Life is beautiful (1997), a movie award winning. This movie was set in Italy 1939, in the time when Nazi slaughtered the jews. At first it looked like a comedy romantic, but then it turned out that the male major character was taken by Germany soldier together with his boy and uncle, because they were jews. And then the wife followed him to the train station because she wanted to go wherever her family went.

The best part of this movie is that the father tried to comfort his little boy by creating a beautiful life for him. Hang on, you’ll understand! Probably you can imagine how terrible it is to live in the camp by watching or even reading a story of the same theme.

But the father seemed to know that they’ll suffer anyway, or else they’re gonna die somehow. But he wanted to embrace hs time with his little boy, when he managed to know that his wife was still alive too.

You know how he explained to his boy about that situation? He told him that they’re going to an amazing place as a birthday gift to the boy. Of course the boy looked happy and it continued until the son believed that all people in that camp were playing a game and tried to win a huge prize, a tank.

Ironically for me that even until the end there is no dramatic crying scene as I anticipated it to be when I read about this movie in an article.

In fact what we (as viewers/audience) get from the movie was how the father tried so hard to build or create a good memory together with his son also his wife. I laughed to listen to the father’s “white lie” to his boy and how other “prisoner” there seemed to cooperate. As if the movie tried to tell us, or me especially, that life is really beautiful, it’s just about how you suggest yourself on how to perceive it, how to see it.

That life is so beautiful. It’s just a great game played by everyone, and those people aim for the first prize.

Mana yang Benar, Mana yang Salah?

Saya sering bertanya-tanya gimana caranya jadi objective and menilai segala sesuatunya dengan cara yang benar. You know, ’cause I seem to not understand how the world works. Dengan hooman dan perbedaan kepribadian mereka. Dengan hooman dan cara berpikir mereka.

Namun, kemudian saya membaca Api Tauhid oleh Habiburrahman El-Shirazy. Sebuah novel biography seorang ulama besar kenegaraan Turki yang mencintai pengetahuan, ilmu, dan Al-quran.

I think I now understand bahwa penilaian kita terhadap sesuatu didasari oleh ilmu pengetahuan dan wawasan kita dan tentu saja nilai nilai yang kita pegang. Dan nilai nilai itu dipengaruhi salah satunya oleh apa saja yang kita baca. Jadi inilah mengapa kita harus membaca segala sesuatunya yang akan membawa pada penilaian yang benar.

And then comes a question: gimana caranya kita tahu buku apa yang akan dibaca? Jawabannya dengan mengetahui siapa penulisnya. Dan zaman sekarang mah gampang banget buat ngepoin seseorang. Apalagi kalo penulis keren… Ato, you know, mungkin ada seseorang yang bisa merekomendasikan buku bagus buat kamu. Just like the friends of mine.

I’ve also been questionning about how to stand your argument, karena selama ini saya berfikir bahwa maybe all people are right about their opinions because they got reasons with them.

But then… Setelah baca Api Tauhid ini saya mulai mengerti bahwa kita bisa bilang sebuah argument itu valid ato tidak jika kita mengerti tentang apa yang benar dan apa yang salah.

Seperti Baiduzzaman Said Nursi, ulama besar yang menjadi tokoh sentral di novel ini yang memiliki kebijaksanaan dan kearifan dalam memutuskan perkara. Juga dalam melihat dan menyikapi permasalahan umat. Dan bagaimana beliau memposisilan dirinya terhadap pemerintahan yang sekuler di zamannya. Beliau mendedikasikan dirinya terhadap ilmu dengan membaca kitab karya ulama besar sebelumnya, mentadabburi Al-quran dan beribadah. Beliau mendapatkan kebijaksanaan dan kelembutan jiwa serta kecerdasan yang menakjubkan dari Sang Pemilik kebijaksanaan, Sang Pemilik kelembutan dan Sang Pemilik kecerdasan itu sendiri, Allah SWT.

Itulah yang akan menuntun kita untuk berfikir jernih dan membuat keputusan yang bijak.

Note to self: saya harus banyak baca biography ulama dan kitab kitab keren juga. Dan pelajaran moral yang harus diingat setelah baca novel ini adalah: Husnuzhan a.k.a berbaik sangka. Lain kali saya post review-an Api Tauhid nya.

Trims dah baca…

Mind the words

I have been wandering, what will it be like to have a beautiful handwriting that makes people love to read over and over again. Because for myself, a beautiful handwriting is a new kind of art, just like speaking. In which we can judge and value a person on the way they talk and the words they use. We also can do that through writing. Because there are thousands and thousands of words on this world and then something lead both speaker and writer to choose a word over the other word with the same meaning. Speaker will use intonation to make the words sound beautiful and sweet. As for the writer they literally write it beautifully.

This topic reminds me of my functional grammar class long time ago. That a person has the opportunity to choose a word in his sentence. That word will show whether a person is polite or not, angry or not, sad or upset.

And then I thought about the word bank that someone got in his mind. Of course this person will only chose words from his own word bank. If in every chance he’s only using the bad words, meaning that he has been enriching his word bank in the bad circumtances. And those who always use good words proved that all his words have been developed in good circumtances.

I understand this more in one scene of “12 Angry Men”, that a man asked with a bit yelling to another man about why should he talk in such a polite manner when everyone’s looked angry in that tensed moment.
He replied:
“for the same reason why you talked the way you do. I was brought with that”

Wooo… Bullet on the chest….

Writing Challenge: List 10 Things That Make You Really Happy

#1 Watching good movies. My good movies are those which make me think about life and the deep meaning of a certain value, movies like: The Shawshank Redemption, 12 Angry Men, Life is Beautiful, and To Kill A Mocking Bird. Romantic movie like Pride and Prejudice (BBC version). Movies about friendship like Lord of The Rings.

#2 Reading English Materials Out Loud. It could be novels, classic novels. Non fictions do me good too, depends on my field of interest like law, prison, criminal, and psychology. I read them out loud ’cause I love the sound of the words, also to practice my pronunciation and my speaking devices.

#3 Drawing. I love to draw and pretty good at it. I did draw weeks ago after months and months without it.

#4 Writing My Thoughts in My Journal. I don’t speak much, instead I am quite chatty through my writings. I got journal on my reading report, on story ideas, and craft ideas. I feel the need to write them all cause I find it troublesome to speak about it.

#5 Crafting. I am creating things, experimenting on things, not scientifically but artistically like handmaking journal, wedding gift, bags, etc, etc.

#6 Retelling The Story I watched and Read to friends of mine. I can tell them the details like the dialogue, reasons why I recommend them to watch or not to watch a certain movie, even the trivia things that I’ve searched before to show how much I like them, such as the screenwriter and the director.

#7 To Browse or Search Everything Related to A Certain Topic That Got My Interest, such as a movie, a meaning, a study. I will spend my time willingly to browse, search, read and download everything needed to dig up more on that topic.

#8 To Sit By The Open Window on the Way Home or on the Way to Everywhere, ’cause I love the Moment when the Wind Hit My Face.

#9 Walking Under the Rain With My Umbrella, alone. Bacause two people wouldn’t fit under such small umbrella. Rain gives me reason to put on my jacket and keeps you warm without worrying to sweat yourself. Rain makes people covering themselves, and the sunny day will make them to reason not to cover themselves properly.

#10 Playing Brain Games and Srtategy Games. Anything related to brain, reasoning, solving problem, ’cause I am a thinker; INTJ.