Mukhlis Ardi: Peace Begins with Myself

My name is Mukhlis Ardi Pratama, the first child of the three siblings. Being a big bother is a difficult thing for me, because it is the first brother who is always told to protect his little sister/bother, to be a role model, even to be a person who has to give in a lot. For me my childhood or my past life was so miserable. When I was a child my family’s economical state was far from sufficient, so the harshness of life made me far from my parents, those times who accompanied me in kindergarten used to be someone else I used to call her aunty. When I was a kid, I was known to be a naughty boy. Once I was so desperate to break my leg when I was in kindergarten. The story was I used to be picked up by bicycle by my aunty, I just had the thought that I wanted to put my leg to the wheel of the bicycle, I told my aunty about this, she felt fear but continued to pedal the bicycle, suddenly I just did it, the wheel wrapped around my right leg, then my leg was fractured, then I did not go to school for a few days.

When I got in to the elementary school I began to be creative and to carve a lot of championships. Until finally one decision that changed my life, living in Pesantren. A world where I did not have it in my list, I haven’t even imagined before. Many things changed there, when I was a junior high school student who did not know anything. At that time, I received a lot of beatings, intimidations, and various kinds of crime that’s how I name it. May be for other people Pesantren is a good place; learning various of knowledge, reading Quran, and etc., but for me the world of Pesantren is like hell. Once I had to run away from Pesantren because I could not bear it anymore with the bullying practices. That all made me became a quiet person, I was afraid to report to the Boarding School Coach or even my parents. Until finally I found a friend whom I felt we shared a lot in common, then I tried to survive in Pesantren.

Move to a high school level where I became a “senior” who took care of the younger students. I felt free at that time, free in a sense of not being restrained like when I was in middle school. I, as a caretaker of the younger students often got burned out with small things by what they were doing, they seemed did not like me. One day someone violated the rules and we, as caretakers warned them, but we were even denied, and they fought back us, I was impatient with their behavior, I hit them, they hit me back, so it created a chaos condition. And this happened quiet frequent those times. Sometimes I was the starter. There was one day I and my fellow held a comparative study in Semarang. We had to leave the younger students. At night when we went home, our room was open and messy, instantly maybe because we were tired and became so really mad, we gathered all the students and asked them, “Who dares entering my room?”, when somebody admitted, I kicked them, more or less there were three or four people. I was so burning out with my temper, till I was pulled by my friend to stay away from that place. That’s my experiences when I was in Pesantren. 

Next in university life. I studied at Ma’had Abu Bakar Ash-Shidiq, Muhammadiyah University, Surakarta. I took Arabic Literature Study Program there. In this time, I joined the first PeaceGen training that was Board Game for Peace. Thanks God, I was invited as a committee. Long story short, I followed BGFP 2.0. There I met great people in Solo. I learned that we could have fun while spreading goodness, through the board game we could learn to convey peace that may be a simple idea for us but this was very big idea in the eyes of others. I was there as documentation team, so through that media I learned how the facilitators delivered their material. At that time, I did not understand the word of 12 Peace Basic of Values until when in BGFP 2.0 I tried to convey one material, I still remember at that time I shared with Fiscal about the Beauty of Differences. Although only being a companion to Fiscal, I have learned a lot. Then I also joined PeaceSantren 2019, another program of PeaceGen Solo. There I became a facilitator who conveyed “No Suspicious, No Prejudice”. Although I considered myself as an amateur, but at least in my mind I have tried to realize myself to spreading peace. 

Then I participated in the Training for Facilitator facilitated by Huda. I felt those values are really important lessons for myself. I really paid attention to how Huda conveyed the materials ​​so that I can bring them home and apply them to my life. Among of the 12 values of peace, I think the value was most kicking me is “No suspicious, No Prejudice & Understanding Conflict”. Here I remember to recall my memory when I was fighting, bullying, and even putting my temper to the fore. I felt that all those times what I did was really wrong. And really after this training I tried to be more patient, not easily offended, face things with a cool head. 

I thought I had applied the lesson from Peace Generation. The story was I had once been betrayed by my friend just because of the position. We have designed our leadership system well but he destroyed it because there was new person. At that moment I somehow felt like I lost all my trust in everyone. Then after a long time, I intended to make peace with my heart and my condition. With a sense of opening my heart I invited him to chat and tried to get out of this problem. Long story short before I tried to open communication with him, I contacted someone, I consulted him and he directed me to make peace with him. Through a third person I began to communicate with him, until finally without a feeling of resentful and revenge we both made peace. And there are many more lessons from 12 peace values that have occurred in my life until today.

As a BDW Facilitator Team, there are phenomena outside there that in my opinion is relevant to be responded, it is cyber bullying. The easy access to social media not only has a positive impact ​​but also negative impact ​​that attack human psychics. I often find cases of cyber bullying that lead to drugs, even the most severe is suicide. This incident encouraged me to become a good BDW facilitator team. I was sad with the victims of this bullying. In fact, many of these suicides are caused by bully, so I feel like I got called to make a change. To stop this cyber bully, I would love to encourage everybody to be more mindful in posting contents in social media, let’s stop the cyber bully now! I had experienced enough with the trauma of bullying in my life. It is time to stop it now. Bully is not as easy as a joke, it impacts mentally rather than physically. Let us be the pioneers of peace for ourselves and our environment.

I hope through my story in the past before knowing 12 peace values can be a lesson for us, that a bad temper cannot solve problems. We must clarify first and if it is proven wrong, do not judge by yourself, just leave it to the authorities. Let us make peace with what we have now, there should not be an act of dropping other people because we are actually created with  our own uniqueness. So peace begins with yourself!


Writer: Mukhlis Ardi Pratama, PeaceGen Chapter Solo Team

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