Aspiration is a characteristic inherently built into the human psyche. For this reason, dreaming becomes second nature to us and is arguably one of the easiest things we are capable of doing. In spite of this, many of us still fail to execute what we were innately programmed to do. What separates successful dreamers from the aforementioned lot is the ambition they possess to support their aspirations. In simpler terms, we have our dreamers, who are backed by action, and daydreamers, who simply talk about what they’re going to do someday. Unfortunately, a majority of us will fall into the latter category, because we’re far too concerned about surviving our day-to-day lives to be acting on our hopes for the future.
Such were the circumstances that befell the parents of Muhammad Ali, a student of Rumah Belajar YCAB Season City. Muhammad Ali’s father worked in sales on the weekdays, while his mother worked as a pudding and donut vendor at the Cengkareng Market. To further supplement his income, Muhammad Ali’s father worked a second job as an online taxi driver on the weekends. Despite the blood, sweat and tears, it still wasn’t enough to fulfill the basic needs of his family. Hence, they were forced to make unreasonable compromises to cope with their poor economic conditions; at a very young age, Muhammad Ali was forced to bear the financial burden of sending his younger siblings to school. Under such circumstances, there’s no incentive of holding onto a dream, because time will come where one must sacrifice his future to pay the bills and survive.
Though short-lived, Ali did receive the opportunity to study at SD Negeri Grogol 07. Even then, for all of his two years there, he’d have to rush after school to his job as a parking attendant at Pasar Grogol. From there, his circumstances only worsened when he was finally pushed to dropout of school at the third grade.
Luckily, Ali was at a point in his youth where children were still overflowing with enthusiasm and energy. Despite not receiving the same opportunities as kids alike, Ali still didn’t allow his unfortunate circumstances to diminish his optimistic outlook on life. Instead, Ali retained his drive and pursued hobbies he enjoyed.
Ali took taekwondo at a professional level, routinely practicing it twice a week. He did so from morning to afternoon at Taman Budi, Pasar Minggu and from afternoon to evening at the Gym Master, Depok. Although he hasn’t reached the level required to participate in championships, he’s already halfway there with a green belt. It looks like it won’t be too long until we see Ali conquer the competition.
Like every other boy, Ali enjoyed playing soccer, futsal and video games for leisure. But unlike other children, these weren’t merely hobbies to him. They were incubators for his aspirations which would eventually develop into fully realized dreams.
With a clear light at the end of the tunnel Ali knew one thing for sure, that he could not give into his circumstances. Ali dreamt about three distinct possibilities for his future: (1) to join the Indonesian National Army’s Airforce, which was inspired by piloting airplanes in video games. (2) to become a sniper since that’s the role he most often chooses when playing FPS games and finally (3) to become a programmer or game developer because he wants to produce games which aren’t boring and desired by the public.
Therefore, when invited by his friend Falia to join the Rumah Belajar YCAB Season City, Ali jumped at the opportunity to study again. Based on Falia’s experience with them, Ali realized that this offered a path wide-open to the future he’d been dreaming of. Not only would he receive on-par education and a degree, he’d also gain knowledge about computers and learn the English language. This is exactly what he had needed to realize his dreams. And because of its convenient location, Ali’s parents allowed him to enroll and he officially became a student at Rumah Belajar YCAB Season City.
Moving forward, Ali never looked back at his decision. He was extremely happy to be studying at the Rumah Belajar YCAB because he felt that, unlike other schools, it allowed him to explore his interests in computers and technology. Despite the challenge of having to start from ground zero, he knew the benefits of studying at the Rumah Belajar YCAB Season City was well worth its challenges. Ali explained, “Such is the reality of learning something new. Ease will come with time and practice”
“I’ve now learned how to operate a computer, use some Microsoft Office functions and coding. In the field of English, there’s even more that I managed to learn. For example, I studied the pronunciation of conjunctions” Ali added.
Even now, at the age of seventeen, Ali still holds onto his childlike spirit and undiminishing enthusiasm. Everyday, his determination grows stronger and his dream moves one step closer towards becoming a reality. Ali has decided to continue his education by pursuing one of the packages at the Rumah Belajar YCAB Season city, until he receives the equivalent of a high-school diploma. Afterwards, he hopes to apply for a scholarship to study abroad in Russia. He mentioned, “I’d like to study Engineering in Russia. I want to either learn about machine components or technology. I believe Russia’s the right country to be studying engineering in because it’s proven itself to be one of the only countries with the weapons and technology which can rival the United States’.”
“Hopefully after that, I can find a job and save enough money to buy a house,” said Ali optimistically.
Besides sharing his aspirations for the future, Ali also mentioned what he hopes to see in Rumah Belajar YCAB for the years to come. “Hopefully there can be specialized classes on coding and additional extracurricular activities aside from computers and English” said Ali.
Such is the story of Ali, a former underaged parking attendant who refused to bow down to the unfortunate circumstances that life had stuck him in. He’d been given a hundred and one reasons to accept his fate and live a less-than modest life, but he had the courage to dream. A fruit cannot be reaped from a seed that hasn’t been sown. So it seems we all have a lesson to learn from Ali, because those who don’t dare to dream, lose the war before even stepping onto the battlefield.