Why (Just) Being A Good Citizen Is Not Enough

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…

I just scrolled over my Twitter timeline two days ago and found that some people talked about an Facebook status written by a high school girl (which turned out to be viral). She talked about current phenomena in Indonesia. To put it short, the political situation in this country is quite heated up, and she expressed her opinion addressing that issue, while making a clever comparison of a government and a family. She also stressed the importance of making ourselves better before asking too much and (only) relying on the government. I agreed with several points which she had elaborated in her status, yet I disagreed in other points. One of them is the importance of a good government in a country (without belittling the role of good citizens). These points below is written based on my thoughts and observations only, so please correct me if I made a mistake.

First, not everyone could bring his/herself better by internal motivation only. Some people may need to be encouraged, others may need to be punished first. So, a good government is essential to create an atmosphere to make the citizens better, by making policies and implement them thoroughly. Besides, a good government may set certain standard or parameters for their implementation of the policy.

For example, some people may do not feel motivated to throw their litters to the bin. A government sees this situation as a problem. Thus, they make a new policy regarding to the problem. They may give a reward for every citizen who voluntarily collect the litters in their neighborhood, or in contrast, charging people who throw litters outside the bin by IDR 500.000.

Of course, we could ask our neighbor, our friends and some people to be the good, clean citizen. Yet, our call to them may be not as powerful as the government’s.

Second, a government is representing its own country, and also, the citizens. In other words, a government is the ‘face’ of a country. People may say some phrases like ‘do not judge a book by its cover‘ or ‘do not judge a person by his/her appearance‘ but most of the times, we just cannot help judging people by their outward appearance. This is also happened for a country. The ‘face’ or the government will be observed and sometimes, judged by other country(es), mainly in an international forum or bilateral negotiation process. A country which do not has a good government will not gain a good reputation internationally. They may be considered as poor, bad, or weak government, which come from a poor, bad, or weak country also. The worse thing is, if the government violates international law, the country will get punished by other countries, be it by banning or embargo. And guess who will get the impact of the punishment? Who will suffered the most? The citizens.

Third, no matter how good the citizens are, if they are governed by a ‘not-good’ government, it will inhibited the growth and development of a country. Why? Because it will be hard to maintain the ‘goodness’ of the citizens while having a ‘not-good’ government. That kind of government may make certain policies without any benefit when implemented. In some extreme cases, some ‘not-good’ governments may harm their own citizens, or make them suffered by giving hard consequences for everyone who disagree with them (re: the government). These unjust treatments will make the citizens oppose or fight back, or perhaps, leave their own beloved country for good.

Okay, that’s all for now. More ideas had crossed my mind, but I had not elaborated them yet, so I only came with these reasons.

For my fellow Indonesians, let’s pray for our country. Please do not get provoked easily. Think twice before reacting to certain news or opinion. Sometimes we cannot think clearly because our heart has been fulfilled by anger.

May Allah protect us, aamiin.

(image credit: here)

 

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