Blog, Jakarta, Thoughts

Sleepless lately?

A few weeks back I stopped by at Taman Suropati with the intention to take photos of Pangeran Diponegoro sculpture, which has been posted at Statues of Jakarta.

While walking to the statue, I noticed that there were two old men sleeping soundly in the park. One laying on the grass with his head on a stone, while the other one was sleeping on his side at a park bench. I decided to take their photos.

Definitely they had no fear sleeping on a public place alone. They were poor people, maybe homeless, and hence they might not have any valuable belongings with them. They had no worries for being seen by other people either. They had no burden at all, not in their pockets, not in their minds.

Didn't they have problems? Sure they did, from basic things such as what to eat when they woke up, to any mundane problems. Appearance, however, can be deceiving, as these people could be a lot wiser than any popular preachers that we frequently see on TV.

A friend had once been in the Suropti park alone, sitting for a few hours, feeling confused and depressed. She was approached by one of the old men, who greeted her, gave her teh Botol Sosro, and asked whether she's OK. She's not, but then she felt very comfortable to tell the old man all of her problems, until she burst into tears.

The old man just listened silently, gave no judgements. Finally he only said that with all her problems that she's facing, a blessing was awaiting her in a few months to come, and advised her to go home. He refused to receive the money she gave to pay the teh Botol. She left the park with a much lighter heart and mind. She got what the old men told her in less than three months.

They are not psychiatrist nor psychologist. They give no advice, no expensive drugs to tame your emotion, and no consultation charge for you to pay. They are just mere observers, of life. Crawlers of the streets and parks. Yet, you may want to talk to one of these people if you were sleepless lately.

Who knows that probably you can learn some of their wisdom.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: May 13, 2007.

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