So far out to the sea

Now I understand, how it truly feels to read this sentence: “If I can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who I am, then what's left in me is who I am – the Being behind the human, a field of pure potentiality other than something that is already defined.”— For somehow, I feel enlightened, when I (finally) (literally) realize and know, nothing that I surely know.  

Does it matter? I don’t think so. Because I don’t (literally) feel that this is a problem.

I think it’s okay.

Besides, what are we beyond our name and form? We belong to the Universe, to the earth; while they do not belong to us. We are just tiny, tiny matters compared to the Universe.

Now I (literally) understand, what this concept actually means: “We are just borrowing the earth from our children, and grandchildren, and great great grandchildren, and so on… and so they have their part too towards their children.. and the circle continues..” It is not because we want them to have the safest place to live in, that is just selfish thought (I think)-- but in fact, this place doesn’t belong to us. Though we belong to this place, but when we die, so is our form (I’m not going to talk about our souls, since I decided not to think about something that I absolutely do not know); and we will die eventually..

I am not thinking about the past
I am not thinking for the future that has not yet come
I am not thinking for short terms
I am not thinking for long terms
I am not thinking what I cannot think
I am not thinking what I do not know

I am thinking beyond, and behind my thoughts.
I am just observing.
I am thinking, to learn, not to raise another question; which I know, I won’t have the answer.

It’s like Zodiacs; to think of it as beyond psychology, beliefs, genetically matters, and history of human kind. Just to grasp the ideas.

Fascinating, really.

Now, wake up.


Dear Engineers,

Engineering education today needs to have several extents in addition to the traditional mathematics and science application skills that have been the foundation. Graduates with engineering background are expected to have not just a formal education, but it is a combination of technical knowledge gained in university courses and also management skills acquired. Through this perspective, leadership traits play a role as the channel. There again, I am talking about how important leadership is.

As environmental engineers, we have to be passionate, committed, and not just about accepting environmental challenges, but finding solutions to achieve the desired outcomes, to take a lead step and make  environmental innovation steps, or act as a pioneer in applying fundamental principles of environmental invention to engineered environmental systems. We have to face responsibilities for environmental management in ourselves, our organization, our community, our country, our living planet.

Environmental management is actually a field that encompasses a surprising array of disciplines, where wide variety of backgrounds is evident in the resumes of people engaged in environmental work. That is why, communication skill is essential. ( I myself, still find this, a bit hard).

As it said: ‘Learning about leadership and developing as a leader from critical life experiences comes from awareness of one’s own identity, personal values, beliefs and passions; leadership is a learning journey’

Unlearn to Learn

The perfection of our every “issue” is beyond our comprehension. The territory behind us and the challenges at hand were precisely crafted to deliver the wisdom and insights that will make possible the life of our dreams. 

Understand what troubles us.

We didn’t come here to face hurdle after hurdle after hurdle. One hundred years from now, it will not matter what our job was, what our degree was, or what kind of car we drove.

We are not our emotions, they are recycled energy.
I am not my emotions.

We are not our thoughts, they are recycled information.
I am not my thoughts.

Pattern of brainwaves create our thoughts, feelings and desires.

I am not living in the mind.
The mind is in me.

I am the mind.

Thoughts DO NOT become things.

So little can yield so much. A new perspective, an admission, a surrender to truth—however painful—changes everything.

Oh, wt*, go for it anyway.

. . . .

I know the day will come
When my sight of this world shall be lost
Life will take its leave in silence
Drawing the last curtain before my eyes
Yet stars will still shine at night
And mornings rise as before
And hours will still heave like sea waves
Casting up pleasures and pains
When I think of this end of my moments
The barrier of the moments breaks
And I see by the light of death
Your world with its careless treasures
Rare is its meanest of lives
Rare is its lowliest eat
Things that I longed for in vain
And things that I got—let them pass
Let me but truly possess
The things that I ever spurned and overlooked

(Rabindranath Tagore, 1913) 


The Optimism of Green Economy

One of emerging topic we are facing nowadays is green economy. Basically, it’s an economy that results in improved human well-being and reduced inequalities over the long term, while not exposing future generations to significant environmental risks and ecological scarcities(UNEP, 2010). So how come the term then comes along? The problem is, we (I think) are still in a position of hard to choose the priority between economy and environment. Prof Emil Salim has always taught us to integrate and “fill in” the economy factor within environment; and incorporate this in the current development we are facing. Economy can only grow if supported by environmental ecosystems as life support system that serves as the web of life.

To give one example, take green building for instance. Based on literature research, I found out that the building sector itself is a significant contributor to economic growth, both globally and at the national level. Globally, it is estimated to be worth US$7.5 trillion per year or approximately 10 per cent of global GDP (Betts and Farrell 2009). Where, the construction sector employs more than 111 million people (ILO 2001). At the national level, the sector generates 5-10 per cent of employment (UNEP SBCI 2007a).

Sustainable development can act as one factor reinforcing the green economy; whilst the concept of conventional development is the debilitating factor for green economy, the exact opposite. Why? Since it has three conventional patterns: Market failure, where it captures only preferences in terms of the economy through “consumer-demand” and “producer-supply” based on one side; then the Institutional failure, followed by Policy failure. I think, good governance is the key to all three. When will we have a proper transparency, accountability, participatory, efficiency, affectivity, within our government??

It is weird how we feel that we have too many regulations here, yet the majority of the issues have not yet been captured thoroughly. The law is always changing, and so are our ideas in what makes a community sustainable.


Beyond Green Building

Interdependency is very crucial to understand building, built environment, and the whole ecosystem for the process of buildings. The question is, can we prioritize issues?

Creating green building for new buildings is all about urban design decision; while the green design itself is all about integration between the people and resources within target setting and site selection, design and planning, construction and post construction, towards operation and maintenance.

The new paradigm in green building certification is that people are more attracted to the performance. The higher the rate or score is, the more it is being valuable. Moreover, the concept of cost-savings or cost-based is now switched to performance-based. Does it mean aiming more for external branding image?

My principal is, doesn’t matter what the purposes or intends are, the important thing (at least for now)is whatever makes people moving and get going to implement the green concept. From that initial stepping stone, people will start to think beyond green building.

What is beyond green building? Socio-economic? Life cycle analysis? Risk analysis? Sustainable community? Can green building concept act as one stone or foundation to foster environmental improvement in all issues?

Maybe it might seem too broad to be brought of within Indonesia. Maybe we can start to think in strategic simpler ways by focusing on the categories or issues. For instance; when we’re talking about innovations and inventions, those things are still standing within the “grey area”. People will have to start to think that innovations are not just about technology (let say technology-based renewable energy). Regardless it can capture both ways; it is not the only solution or approach. But how to measure innovation with the absence of subjectivity?

Let the building (and time) speak for themselves to the people and urban environment.


A Paradoxical Perspective

On earth it seems that most people fret, worry, and lose sleep over some of the silliest things they’ve done. But what’s funny is that later on, from here, more often than not, it’s the things they didn’t do that haunt them. I’m not laughing, either.

I think people are stressing out even more not when they do not know what they want or need; it is because they know exactly, and yet still caught up with the illusion of “being safe”.The illusion of safe is guarded by the lists of “maybe”, “sometime”, “I don’t know, and the lists go on and on.

How can you know that something hasn’t worked out, unless you quit?
They say what’s really beautiful is Confidence
They say what’s really powerful is Persistence

Perhaps the most exiting realization in the world finally understands that living the life of your dreams is entirely up to you.  It’s also about the scariest.

It is said that if we can’t choose and control what we want to think, then we are in deep trouble. For the rest of our life . So the strategy here is by putting our thoughts in boxes, differentiating between positive and negative thoughts. But what happens next is by having positive and negative thoughts obviously creating unthinkable thinking arriving extreme ideas. Is there anything in between those two?

It is like when I think I have my own personal ideal concept of something (or someone), does it lead to idealism? Which the arrows will lead to high expectation, then scepticism eventually. How can one thought of positivity leads to negativity? 


Doesn’t matter whether if you are a pure basic, strategic basic, or even applied research-based researchers; Having the ability to plan for a global research environment is the ideal aim. Plan is needed. Having a plan that needs to be adjusted over time is very much better than not having any plan at all. The strategy here is to work smarter, not harder.

I don’t necessarily agree in the concept of getting a degree for self-achievement. It is true, but it should be further than that; I totally agree with the statement from Prof Alan M J, “a PhD is a research training degree in understanding or investigating, our specific research area we should’ve learnt and further developed the research skills, training, and expertise to carry out research in a range of similar disciplines".

People always say; do what you need to do, not what you want to do. Well in this case, I think this is what I need, because this is what I know I want for sure.