My Father, My Hero

 

 

Everyone has his own hero. Addressing great and famous men as heroes is a frequent preference. Nevertheless, from my point of view, a hero shouldn’t have to be a sacrosanct person. Above all, a hero is he who enlightens others to be their better selves. For me, my hero is not far away: my father, who has inspired me very much  in many ways.

First and foremost, he taught me about hard work. Before retiring, he used to teach at elementary schools. With a family consisting of seven children and a housewife, you can imagine how hard his life could be. Nonetheless, he could successfully raise all of his children. I recall very well these bitter but sweet memories during 1987-1990, when he must fund all of his seven children’s school fees at the same time. Simply put, he managed to send each of us to school until all of us graduated from university.

Another inspiration for me is that my father is a living proof of a person who achieved his life goals through what so-called “the biggest investment is education”. Born in a poor family, he was abandoned by his parents, who never thought that it was important to give their children a chance to go to school. My father, at a very young age, gradually learned that the only way to get out of poverty is to have a good education. He then worked as a shepherd in order to collect money to fund his education. Sometimes he also made Javanese puppets and cricket cages to get more earnings. With his perseverance, he then graduated from a teacher’s college. Holding a teaching certificate made him able to educate other people—some probably had a similar difficult situation like his own. Looking back upon his life experience, it motivated me to always do my best.

Last but not least, despite his firmness, he is actually very kind. To tell you the truth, sometimes we can get into a lot of arguments. However, it doesn’t mean that those disagreements are not constructive.What I admire the most from him is his honesty, rationalism, and gentleness. At one time, he can be very strict. At other times, he can be a tender father, who will not hesitate to spend his leisure time with his children. He frequently took us to new interesting places or events like Gajah Mungkur Reservoir, Sangiran Early Man Site, or Grebeg Sekaten of Surakarta Sunanate. His manners had shown me examples on how I should manage my own family.

In brief, I have learned a great deal of my father’s precious life values. Indeed, these values are not ephemeral to me. They linger deep in my heart and soul. Thinking all of his positive legacies, I will say that I am very proud to be his son. Most of all, my father is a hero of my life.

 

-Nugrohojati