5 Keys to Raising Optimism and Pride in Youths towards a Greater Indonesia

Sampoerna University

It was a full house at the Studium Generale on the first day of 2019/ 2020 Odd Semester at Sampoerna University on Monday (September 2, 2019). Invited as the sole guest speaker, Yudi Latif, Ph.D. presented a general lecture aptly titled “The Perspective of Pancasila on a Great Indonesia” (“Perspektif Pancasila untuk Indonesia Unggul”) at Sampoerna University’s campus.

There were more than 70 lecturers and around 700 students packing the large rooms sitting to listen to Latif’s inspirational historic lecture. He eloquently spoke of Indonesia from the historical and philosophical standpoint. His lecture aimed to boost the spirit of nationalism, pluralism, tolerance, and patriotism among Indonesians especially youths.

The top scholar touched on several noteworthy points after a question from a student regarding what is currently happening in West Papua. After praising the student’s deep concern about what university students like he is can do to tackle racism and disintegration issues, Latif answered that there are five (5) keys to a greater and happier Indonesia.

“The keys to a great and happy Indonesia are PERMA: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaningfulness and Achievement,” stated the alumnus of the Doctoral program of Australian National University majoring in Political Sociology & Communication.

Latif further elaborated that we Indonesians must stop to be pessimistic, stigmatic, suspicious, and full of prejudice towards others. “We need an environment that nurtures our positive emotions,” he added. “But in order to have positive emotions, we must have spirituality. It builds our strength to be optimistic,” Lutfi told the audience.

A point to ponder from Lutfi is that spirituality does not necessarily mean religiosity. “Spiritual people are those who have souls that shine and emit light (love) – instead of darkness (hatred and hostility) – towards every creature around him/ her. “

He also advised that students have more than one affiliation so they are allowed to have diverse world views. This way they can be more broad-minded, less radical and fundamentalist.

Speaking of relationships, Lutfi thought that there is no person who can solely succeed by studying textbooks. “Humans succeed with other people’s support,” he said.

Meanwhile, Meaningfulness can be created in us by building meaning in every thing we do. It should not always about ourselves but also cover things greater than individual interests or gains. “These days, surprisingly enough we see more people committing suicides than war casualties. It’s all because we start to lose meaning in life.”

The last point, Achievement, is urgently required. “Ordinarily a nation is more proud of itself when it has more achievements. But when we mock or deride our own nation, that may mean we lack achievements,” Lutfi argued. That is why now we need to work hard to make more global achievements.

Speaking of his impression of Sampoerna University, he commented: “I applaud the diverse, multicultural environment at Sampoerna University. To me, Sampoerna University is the miniature of our plural Indonesia. Regardless of faiths or other differences, people can study and get along with each other, which is a beautiful sight to see.”

Born in August 1964, Yudi Latif, PhD is an activist and a young intellectual. His thoughts about the relation between the religion and the nation spread across the media. As the former Head of Badan Pembinaan Ideologi Pancasila, he is also Executive Director of Reform Institute. He has published a number of works, among others is “Negara Paripurna: Historitas, Rasionalitas, Aktualitas Pancasila”. (*/)

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