Today, humans in every corner of the world are almost uniform in their clothing, architecture, and way of thinking. Although not the same, but these similarities eliminate the uniqueness in culture and the human person. Yes, humans are alienated by their uniqueness as individuals. No need to look too far into the world, let's explore each country respectively.
Imagine if we lived hundreds of years ago and we travelled around a country, then we would find a rich culture that is reflected in the diversity of dress styles, building architecture, ways of thinking, rituals, customary regulations and much more. If we visit Padang, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and other cities in the archipelago, we will find very significant differences. It would be nice to see such cultural diversity.
After the currents of globalization that took part in bringing westernization, everything changed! Yes, this society is changing though not totally. Now, if we visit the big cities in the archipelago, there is almost no difference, especially the urban people. All dressed in the same style, the architecture of the buildings tended to be the same, and their thoughts were almost the same in favour of individualistic western thought.
Urban people or so-called metropolitan people may forget their historical roots. They forget the culture of their ancestors and worship western culture which they think has no gaps like gods. The metropolitans usually live solely to earn money and their existence amidst the siege of individualism.
I am both grateful and envious of the rural people who still maintain the original culture and still feel strong. I was touched when I heard the story of a friend who came from remote villages to study in Jakarta. He was the only resident of the village who attended college. He told me that in his village there were no coolies or anything like that, if there was a villager who wanted to build a house or renovate it, the villagers gathered and worked on it together without being paid or expecting payment. Ah, this is our true culture! The original culture that was properly guarded by the "Founding Fathers" of Indonesia, the culture of cooperation!
As a child who grew up in a metropolis, I was quite surprised to hear this story. Because it is almost impossible to happen in Jakarta and other big cities. Since childhood residents of the metropolis have been stressed to make money. Schooled as a provision to earn money. Loaded with the doctrine that money is everything and without money, we will not be happy.
The grip of capitalism is so strong that it uproots human values embodied in culture. This grip gave birth to new cultures that are deeply rooted in the majority of people today. In this new culture, people are almost uniform in their style of dress, way of thinking, etc. but they are indifferent to each other. As long as a social relationship gives birth to a symbiotic mutualism, so long the relationship will run, but if it does not benefit one of the parties then the social relationship will run aground.
This new culture gave birth to people who are uniform but not indifferent, very unique! Where there are many adages such as "Don't be too kind to other people or you will be harmed", "My attitude depends on your attitude", and others that are in line with the adage. Worse, many people today are lulled by this adage. This new culture shaped people to be individualistic and selfish!
I prefer the adage that smells like the words of Jesus in his sermon on the hill "Whoever slaps your right cheek, turn your left cheek". The human values embodied in the teachings of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and other wise men who oppose this egoistic individualist culture are very cool, although it must be admitted that it is difficult to implement.
This new negative culture is capitalism-materialism. Yes, this culture is very boring and dry. How come? Humans are required to follow fashion trends in clothing that is only used by a few trademarks that are considered to have the authority to make profits. Fashion trends are always changing and will continue to change because if they stop, the brands will lose money.
It is not difficult to create new fashion trends for trademarks that are considered to have authority. They just need to support Hollywood celebrity to use their products or have model models wear their clothes in beauty contests. Humans are made worthless, humans are contested like cattle! It wasn't long before people followed that style and bought things from that brand. Ah, aren't there any more people who think against this?
Besides being boring because this new culture uniforms people, this new culture is also very dry. Why dry? Yes, because this culture makes orientation materialistic or only oriented to material objects. This material orientation makes people only want to get instant and real results. A fairly clear example of the effect of material orientation on life is in the field of education.
In the field of education, this material orientation makes students worship the values listed on the diploma. Yes, this diploma will be used as capital to navigate life because it is the diploma that will be used as a benchmark for the contents of the human head. This thing called a diploma finally obscures the importance of knowledge! Abstract science is not considered important. That way, whatever way is taken to get a high score listed on the diploma, because a person's integrity will be seen through his diploma and not his knowledge.
Recent scientific research proves that apart from being biological, psychological, and social beings, humans are also spiritual beings. In short, humans naturally need spiritual values. Therefore, putting aside spiritual values will alienate humans themselves. In addition, many negative things can be explained by the degradation of spiritual values caused by material or materialistic culture.
One of them can be seen in big cities or especially in Jakarta. For example, how many mosques can we find? We will have no trouble finding a mosque in Jakarta because almost every few kilometres a mosque is built. Yes, Muslims compete to build mosques and sometimes even compete with each other with the nearest mosque.
This is the result of material-oriented culture. Religious people feel that making material objects such as houses of worship, is a sign that they are the closest people to God. Even though it has many mosques, the behaviour of Muslims does not show Islamic behaviour. So many Muslims live behind bars due to his actions. From those who are diligent in carrying out Islamic law to those who do not know anything about the law, they are in prison.
This new materialistic culture is very dry because spirituality is so sidelined if it does not want to be said to be removed. Let us think critically in facing a new era that brings the new culture so as not to uproot us. Culture as a product of human creation should not conflict with our nature or nature.
The new culture is not always bad. Western culture that tends to be individualistic, egoistic, and hedonistic is also not always bad. There are so many examples of their culture, such as their enthusiasm for learning, scientific progress, and technological progress, so we need good filtering to get the good values that the new culture brings.
The cultures that must be criticized are the cultures that produce alienation for humans, such as the culture that is developing widely in society. Humans are biological, psychological, social and spiritual beings. These four aspects are human nature, however, we as humans should not allow culture as a product of human creation to take away our essence.
As a believer in the power of God, I believe that one of the goals of humans on earth is to be a leader on this earth. Leaders here mean good managers, I have read in the literature that says that Islam is a religion that is by nature. That way, humans as leaders must manage this earth according to their nature, for example, humans should not pick unripe fruit because it is not by the nature and purpose of creating the fruit. Humans must help all the purposes of God's creation in the world, therefore humans are also called Khalifatullah or God's representatives in this world.
Humans who are detached from their essence will certainly experience deviations in purpose. Due to the uprooted roots, the orientation becomes uncertain. Humans like this will become humans who are afraid, closed, hypocritical, stupid, and others. Therefore we need to understand our nature as humans to fulfil the purpose of our creation as humans created by God.
For human progress and fulfilment of goals as servants of God, it is necessary to maintain existing values so that our original identity is not uprooted and does not alienate us while developing new and better values. Hopefully, this article can be useful for readers even though this article is still very far from perfect.