As we approach the end of the year it comes time to think about what we have achieved, what could we have done better, what perhaps we should not have done, and what we can do to improve not only our lives but those around us.

The Asian Games brought home to us the meaning of competition, and the fact that to win you not only need talent, you need good coaching, team spirit and a huge amount of personal effort and commitment. But we did very well, congratulations to all. But the Olympic spirit says that it is the taking part that’s important not the winning!

The Para Games taught us some very different lessons: this time in tolerance, acceptance and the joy of seeing those – some greatly – disadvantaged putting their heart and soul into their sport. It was uplifting and I hope, life changing. Many people across the archipelago have lives that are restricted, sometimes even shackled, because of mental and physical disabilities. Let us hope these games changed that paradigm for good, and the less abled are treated with more respect.

The start of the campaign for legislative and presidential elections however seems to be on a different philosophy, one of “whatever it takes” to win.

Winning a government seat or post, however senior, is not success. Using that position to achieve better standards of living for your people is. The current philosophy seems to be that the achievement of positions of power is in itself success but to me that’s completely wrong, it’s what you do with that power that really matters. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country”, is a wonderful way of looking at it.

There are so many things we need to improve here in Jakarta, from my favourite subject, traffic, to waste management, to water preservation, to pollution, to affordable housing to healthcare, and fitness, and education. When each of these is at an acceptable level, to safeguard the future of the city and the country, that will be success.

I hope that is your philosophy too.

Alistair Speirs

Alistair Speirs

Alistair has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for 25 years. He started NOW! Magazines as the region’s preferred community magazine.