I Believe in You

I believe that everyone needs someone else to believe in them.

Imagine a young child who is started to walk on his two feet. The coldness of the tiles and the surge of nervousness might intrude into his mind at the same time. He is thinking about the importance of stepping his first steps. In the midst of his consideration, he can see his parents are smiling at him. Clapping their hands, calling his name and invite him to walk across toward them. He can see that his short walk will reward him with some hugs and smiles. He knows that his parents believe in him – that he can overcome his nervousness and walk! And surely, he can do it.

After a while, he will notice that his walks are not yet steady, he sometimes fall or unable to avoid his teddy bear on the floor. He stumble every now and then – and he can feel the same surge of nervousness running through him again. But, he still sees his parents waving at him – ask him to get up and walk again. He knows that his parents believe in him and it makes him get up and walk again. His process of getting up again is a proof that this young child believe in himself, because his parents believe in him.

Earlier today (Feb 3, 2012) I had an interview with JJFm radio. They want me to give my opinion about the rising number of children who run away from their homes. This phenomenon is another example of how bad the impact when family members no longer able to believe in each other – parents to children, among siblings, or children to parents. It is sad to know that in our daily life we can see people stray away from their future or capacity – just because no one believe in them.

I was about to drop the offer on interview because they only gave me 15-30 minutes to get ready. I was frightened that I would not be able to give my best shot. I didn’t believe in myself – but someone else did. I had a meeting with a friend when the radio called me up. He said that I need to close all the books in my head and use my heart to talk, because I can do it. He believed in me – so that I finally regain the belief of believing in myself.

We can do one thing today and the next days, pat someone on their back and say it firmly that you believe in them to do their best. You will be surprised how powerful the word of “I believe in you”.

The Soloist – From My Perspective

One of my student in University (Widya Mandala Catholic University, Surabaya, Indonesia) suggested me to watch a movie, The Soloist. He said that the movie would be a benefit for our discussion in Social Intervention class. So, I gave myself a try.

He was right.

The Soloist is a story about a homeless man, named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr – well played by Jamie Foxx. Nathaniel used to be a very talented musician and entered one of the biggest music school in the US. But something happened in his previous years and let him wander along the streets of LA.

His story was unknown to public, until he met, Steve Lopez, a columnist in LA Times – well played by Robert Downey Jr. Lopez wrote many stories about Nathaniel and his columns gained appraisal from the community.

But what interest me the most from the movie is the fact that we live in a real world – with so many schizophrenics around us. The young and talented Nathaniel was showing symptoms of psychotic disorder – delusion, auditory hallucinations, distorted perception, but never had a chance of receiving any treatment. This condition was a big concern of Lopez, and he asked the social worker to bring Nathaniel to mental health professionals.

From a professional view, Lopez suggested the right thing – get medication to help Nathaniel. But from personal point of view, Lopez is not always right. Nathaniel has the right to keep living his life the way he want to, unless he holds potential danger for himself or others.

Even though the movie didn’t really capture the stress contributing factors of Nathaniel’s delusional beliefs, but it shows the vulnerability of himself. Since very young, Nathaniel used to lock himself for his musical practice and the world went without having him in it. This condition was worsen when he started to hear voices and telling him to do things. In this condition, Nathaniel believes that he has no power to resist or refuse the commands given by the voices.

Any delusional belief bears personal meaning to the individual. Sometimes the voice soothes their mind, therefore they choose to live in those voices. Like a scene in the movie, when a lady told the others about the effect of medication that she had. She said that the voice that soothe her suddenly disappeared whenever she took the medication. Not every voice that individual hears can do good, because sometimes it can do harm as well. Therefore, they are suggested to take medications.

The topic of schizophrenia is my new love story. Since mid 2009, I started to learn more about schizophrenia and the individuals who has been diagnosed as schizophrenics. The way they see the world is special – it’s like the title of one Lopez’s article: Life has its own mind. If you want to understand them, then you have to walk out from your stool and lay low. Be with them and understand what their minds try to tell you.

Writing is my way to share it to you.