Urip iku sawang-sinawang is another Javanese wisdom that I’ve learnt. It simply means life is looking at each other, looking at something.
When feeling unfortunate, many will see others as luckier than them. Comparison is an immediate expression to show their frustration. Why are those people getting that but I’m not? Why does life give the blessings to them but not to me? Why are they married but I’m not? Why do they have good jobs but I don’t? Blahblahblah!
Let’s call them “these angry children”. When these angry children happen to consult to Javanese elderly, they will softly say “Ngger, urip kuwi mung sawang-sinawang….”
“Ngger” is equivalent with “My child”.
Many can only see what they are exposed to. Others have better job while these angry children don’t; and that makes these children angrier. They think that having particular jobs will make those people happier.
People are married and being married is considered happier and that makes these angry children sad or even angrier.
People travel to many places and these angry children think they are luckier; and that makes these children envy.
Some colleagues are able to deliver the speech better than these angry children and they think the colleagues perform better; and that makes these angry children feel as worst employees.
Are all those truly as these angry children think? No. Or at least not always. Or let’s say not exactly like what you expect. Or maybe not at all!
They have good jobs but they might have a lot of pressure or feel less appreciated. Whereas having (what you consider) less fortunate jobs is blessings for becoming less risky against integrity issues and less pressure.
They are married and these angry children never know what kind of spouse those people have. These children should be thankful for not being in a marriage this time and see that those married people are struggling financially or romantically or sexually or spiritually or socially or all…. Whereas the unmarried are free to be their own selves and getting more training from Life to be better and readier human beings.
People travel to many different countries while these angry children can only jump out to other districts in their province. These angry children think that makes those people better human beings. Yes, they have more photo albums and memories of what they have seen and more information; but they don’t automatically become wiser than whoever mostly stay home but are able to process the life experiences into true wisdom to address this humble life.
And colleagues speaking more sophisticatedly? Bloody hell! Those who talk talk, but not always walk the talk. What’s more important is how what aren’t even spoken or talked have helped people around them.
So, life is only how we are looking at each other, looking at something. We can look at them and get offended. We can look at them and digest what we see into a wisdom to be better living being without judging ourselves of being bad or unlucky.
That’s a simple Javanese philosophy that might be also taught in other cultures.
Accept who we are and process our own facts to mould the shape of love in us. Others are not always our mirror, they might be magnifying glass.
In fact, all of us deserve to be these angry children while growing to be the wise.
Thanks for the simple chats with some good friends and my own self.