I agree with you - we're much more bothered (and affected) by pollution and hygiene. Here's a test for you: Give beverages containing es batu and meals with raw veggies washed in tap water to 50 expats and 50 locals, then wait to see who gets diarrhea. And, yes, we do complain more and speak up more readily. I have some other thoughts on this topic, but it's outside the scope of the discussion.I don't think many people here will disagree with me when I say that foreigners have much more problems dealing with the pollution and hygiene over here. Or do they just complain more and speak up easier?
If expats aren't influential, why are they sought (especially Caucasians) to teach in private schools, invited to speak at seminars and workshops, asked to appear in classes at universities, given prominent billing and have their photos put up, etc. even when they don't hold relevant credentials in the topic but are known to be knowledgeable on the topic? Why did Wahyu get several TV programs dealing with Islam? Why did the local government ask to make use of my involvement in the family planning program to stimulate interest amongst locals? The way in which we lack influence stems from the way in which we interact with locals - basing our statements, arguments and such on our cultural views and values rather than adapting what we're saying to the way they think and what they value. Bill and Melinda Gates quickly learned that to help in Africa, they needed to tailor their efforts to help Africans to African culture and not impress American culture on them. You cannot reach people unless you work within their framework. Clearly, foreign companies pulling out will have an impact - Mattel, LG, Philips, and Eveready are just 4 examples of companies that employ thousands of people in Indonesia - yet, this is not the kind of influence we are discussing here. I hope that makes sense.To think we or other ex-pats can be rather influential is not very realistic. The next president saying he's willing to kick a certain population (10%) out even if that sets the country back 10-20 years from an economic standpoint, is rather revealing. So foreign companies can threaten to pull back or ex-pats can leave Kemang/Menteng and it might hurt a bit financially speaking, but it's questionable if that will lead to any results.
Excellent question! They don't know what's in it for them, and patriotism isn't going to motivate many of them to save their country. It's one thing to play tug-o-war and climb-the-greased-pole to get prizes, and it's a completely different thing to make an effort towards something that isn't readily visible and understandable, that doesn't hold immediate benefits for them.And finally I come back to my hobby horse; what's in it for the local? Even if they are more aware of the (potential) problems, will that improve their immediate situation and short term outlook? We have seen that in many aspects of this society; people are focused on short term results.
Here are some benefits:
Cleaner water, air and land, resulting in better living conditions, food and beverages, and less disease
Reduced electrical usage will result in reduced cost - energy-saving bulbs, cleaning your AC's filter regularly, raising its temperature a degree or two, unplugging "stand-by mode" devices when not in use, are all simple, inexpensive ways to save money.
Composting holds the potential for income through the sale of the hummus, as does recycling. The amount of money may not be tremendous for a rich guy like you, jstar, but there are lots of hungry locals out there!
Obviously, there are many other answers to what's in it for them - it just takes a skilled presenter to show them the benefits of taking action. Directly and indirectly, for them and their offspring, it's not too hard to quantify and qualify why they should.
:applause: That's the spirit!Now I don't say it's all impossible and that we shouldn't try and 'lead by example' in some way (just to clarify; the word lead doesn't mean rule or be the boss or act superior).
[/quote]We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Namaste, peace & love,