“Belajar rajin-rajin, dah besar nanti jadi doktor,”(“Study hard and become a doctor.”)
Ever heard those sentence? Most parents instill in their children’s mind all the ambitions that they thought would be the best for their children. Nothing wrong with that. That’s far better than some parents who do not let their children to go to school and learn as to ‘help them to work’. Those parents have little or no care at all about the children’s future. Poor kid.
Another common practice is the ‘scare tactics’. You’d hear dialogues along the lines of “Hah, kalau malas belajar nanti jadi tukang kutip sampah…” (Huh, if you’re lazy you’ll end up as a garbage man.), or “Kenapa tak nak belajar? Nak jadi tukang sapu ke?” (“Why don’t you study? You want to be a cleaner?”).
Although I see the rationale of those actions, I do not concur. Why? Simple. The cleaners, the garbage man, the tea-lady, the fishermen, and many other not so glamorous people are actually the unsung heroes. They perform the tasks that those with so called normal jobs won’t even dream to do.
They’re doing jobs so niche, yet everybody would be in trouble if they decided not to do it for just a couple of days. Yes, everybody could substitute for their job. But would you dare to leave your oh-so-prestigous white collared jobs and go do their job? How could it be when everybody’s a manager? Then whom shall he/she manage? As said in The Incredibles, “…when everybody’s special, then no one is…”
Okay, if many of you may shrug the idea of these people’s importance, let me give you a simple example. Have you ever gone to a concert, a festival or better yet, a pasar malam? Then have you ever go to the same site the morning after? It’d looked like a flash flood had swooped garbage from a landfill there. Now imagine no one was to clean that place up. Imagine the smell that makes anyone within proximity pukes. Imagine the ecosystem that starts to evolve there. Imagine then the pasar malam returns the very next week and they’re selling food over those stuff they left before. And no one bothers to clean them up.
The tea lady seems not so important. But hear this, an organization could increase their staff’s working time with having a tea lady. If there’s no tea lady, the staff have to go and make his/her own, and that alone takes around 5-20 minutes. Not a long time you say? Wait, there’s more! Then another staff comes to make tea and they start to chat, and another comes and joins them. 5 minutes turn to 15- 30 minutes before they realize that their boss might lodging a police report about their dissappearance. It would be worse if the staff had to go outside for their daily dosage of caffeine (read: Government Servants’ General Attitude).
The one job that I respect most is the firemen. They are the ones going where everybody is running.They are the ones who risk their very life to save those they may have not even met. They are the ones who would have to pick all those pieces of meat left by traffic accident victims. They are the ones we call when our Persian cat cannot climb down a tree. They are the one we call when there’s a snake in our house. And the list could go on and on and on. Yet we hear almost nothing about them in media, or even in the list of ambitions by kindergarden kids. They are my true unsung heroes.
Who are your unsung heroes? Share it with us.