Are You Free From People’s Expectations?

Photo by Olga from pexels

“No’, might make them angry, but it will make you free. If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger”
-Nayyirah Waheed-

What does “freedom” mean to you?

Everyone might have their own definition of “free” or “freedom”.

But, no matter it is, we agree that “freedom” means we are free from subjection. In a nations or country’s case, subjection might appear in various types.

The most important and always be mentioned in our history book is colonialism by other country. Now, there’re modern subjection in economics, ideology–even what we’re facing today–pandemic.

Indonesian Founding Fathers, Bung Karno, has ever said that our struggle might be harder in the future because we have to fight against the internal enemies.
Like a prophecy, what he said becomes reality today. Corruption, poverty, radicalism, hoax spreading and hate speech, are some types of subjection that we’re fighting of.

The most dangerous enemy comes from the internal. From them, who are the closest to us. Even we can be enemies for ourselves.

Well, let me ask you something. Do you realize that your life is surrounded by people’s expectations?

If you said “yes”, then you’re not alone.

Annoyed? Tired? Stress?
Absolutely, yes.

Who’s not tired of fulfilling people’s expectations and be a people pleaser?

First, you have to be realistic and realize that you can’t please everyone. You also can’t force everyone to like you.

In the haters eyes, you’re always be a bad person. No matter how nice, kind or well manner you are, their perception about you won’t ever change.

You don’t need to always agree or say “yes” to their requests. Cause you’re just a human, not Aladdin’s genie or Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

If you want to express your disagree and rejection, make sure that you have valid reasons and strong argument. Then, express it in a respectful way.

If people don’t like of what or how you do, it’s not your business.

Your life is your responsibility. Their life are their responsibilities.

Everyone has an authority to rule and control themselves. Your mindset, your words, your attitude and behavior are things that under your control. Because you’re a leader of yourself.

Other’s mindset, words, attitude and behavior are things that out of your control. So, why are you worrying a lot of the things that you can’t control?

You have right to choose what’s the best for you. You have power to rule and control yourself without always fulfilling people’s expectations. If you can do it all, then, you’ll gain your own freedom.

*) This post is written as a reflection on 76th Independence Day of Indonesia. Hope our homeland will recover soon from its “illness“.


Poem | Independence Day in Pandemic

picture by

August comes with warmth
free us from wet months
taking us out of cold

August brings an eternal flame
from the hearts burning with spirit;
minds that are craving for freedom;
and hands that are working for eternity

August sings a hymn
about an anniversary that’s celebrated by silence
cause everyone hides in their room
afraid of making longer list of new cases

We welcome August in grief
cause statistic is still increasing
meanwhile we keep growing our apathy
like everything is fine

We’re free but bound to an agreement of ‘do’s and don’t’
We can’t step out of the lines between
cause freedom should make a human human

Yogyakarta, August 17th, 2020-11.09 a.m.

*) Happy 75th Independence Day of Indonesia

Poem | Small Notes on Independence Day

source :

[Singing] “…Indonesia raya merdeka merdeka
Tanahku negeriku yang kucinta
Indonesia raya merdeka merdeka
Hiduplah Indonesia raya”

-pieces of Indonesian National Anthem, Indonesia Raya-

“Merdeka” is not only about how loud you sing Indonesia Raya
“Merdeka” is not only about how strong you stand in the sun heat during a flag ceremony
“Merdeka” is not only about how often you participate in Independence Day celebrations (in Indonesia we called it tujuhbelasan)
“Merdeka” is not only about how you memorize the names of national heroes and historical events complete with the year of its occurence

“Merdeka” is about how you advance the nation’s civilization with what you have
Stretch out your hands
to those who live in poverty
Use your strength
to protect those who are weak
Use your power
to uphold the law and justice
don’t let the rulers play with the law
don’t let the justice be bought by bourgeouis family
Light their hearts and minds
with knowledge and wisdom
don’t let them be cruel and heartless oppressors

No more tears
No more bloodshed
No more barrier
We are used to living in difference
but, we are able to move together
and I don’t want anyone to destroy it

Yogyakarta, August 17th, 2019-10.00 a.m.-on 74th Indonesian Independence Day

*) notes : “Merdeka” is a word in the Indonesian and Malay language meaning independent or free.