I never realize before that writing is powerful. Actually I have read many instances where somebody talk about how important it is to write, for example in a novel by Pramoedya A. Toer, where he told a story about a young fellow trying to be heard and in order to do so he wrote some articles in newspapers. Eventually, he achieved his goal. Just like I said earlier, powerful.
Unfortunately, in our society and our education system, writing is often being left aside and its importance is underestimated. I don’t really know about the current condition but I presume it still doesn’t change much from what I experienced during my study years. Of course there is free writing element in language subject but mostly it is limited to writing a story or poems. Students are expected more to memorize things rather than speak about what they see or what they think. They are seldom being asked about their opinion regarding something and speak (or write) about it freely. In many situations, we still encounter right or wrong position rather than just different perspectives. Something that we need to work on…
In western academic system, writing an essay about your opinion is common, even encouraged. During college, especially in postgraduate degree, students are required to do a lot of reading and academic writing. In academic writing it is compulsory to do research, build our opinion and supporting arguments regarding certain subject. In this process, we develop a critical thinking and formulate a position, even solution, to address it.
Critical thinking is also one thing I would like to point out here. Sadly in our system, critical thinking is seldom being introduced to students. Often, we are asked to read and read and learn (memorize, to be exact) the materials without any doubt and forced to think that everything in text book is absolutely correct. We should be aware that there are, in fact, numerous point of view we can use to address a problem or situation, we should learn that differences is natural and not to be considered as a threat.
I am now in the process of learning to write. The more I learn, the more fascinating it is. So keep writing, and you’ll surprise yourself.