The second item on my list of 10, is “tolerance” and this is certainly a test.
As I type these words out, this virtue is thronging in my head.
What does this mean and more to the point, why did I choose to put it on my list?
The reason being, I’m beginning to feel that we “Thais” are becoming less tolerance.
Well, it really rests on how I define this.
Here are ALL possible connotations on the theme.
the power or capacity of an organism to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions permissiveness: a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior the act of tolerating something willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others allowance: a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits
Right now I have to say that Thai culture is one that is good at tolerating something with a willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others. But and this is a big BUT! I might be misguided in thinking this, judging by what is happening now.
Thailand, the country, is tolerance and at the risk of sounding like a history school teacher, here is why.
For years we have religious harmony (I’m talking a few centuries back!)
Historically speaking, we always embrace other creeds and cultures, evidence of Portuguese settlement even before the Ayuddhaya period. (Yes, for all you cynical farangs out there, we have been welcoming you long before the amazing Thailand campaign! BTW to put the record straight, you are not referred to as that yummy crunchy green fruit, check this out Farang – Farangi – Faranggi – Ferringgi)
Kratoeys always have a place.
Lately though with this colour politic, my doubt is growing. We are becoming more and more hostile to people of differing ideology and views. You can and must be of the same view or else you are public enemy number 1!
People in general seem to develop impatience and that leads to intolerance.
But I can still say no matter who you are, there is still a place for you in Thai society. The question is, are Thai people equally tolerance?
I’m not giving up on this. Not just yet.
I’m hoping that once we see how shallow this race for supremacy and material gain is, we will relearn what our ancestors have long understood, i.e. tolerance is key for survival.
If I step back and look at the bigger picture, then I believe right now is just a glitch in time and Mr. Anderson! It will pass.
What’s going on in Thailand right now, will not lessen the thing that makes us Thai!
Tolerance will still be part of that and my number 2!