The Nations article, The coming decade: Thailand’s ten greatest fears by Kavi Chongkittavorn makes a very interesting read. Khun Kavi has listed the followings as the big ten:
1. CONCERN OVER HIS MAJESTY.
2. FEAR OF LOSING THAI WAY OF LIFE.
3. FEAR OF LOSING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY.
4. FEAR OF INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM.
5. FEAR OF COLOUR-BLINDNESS.
6. FEAR OF INSIGNIFICANCE.
7. FEAR OF POLITICAL CHAOS.
8. FEAR OF TELLING THE TRUTH.
9. FEAR OF ABHISIT’S WITHERING LEADERSHIP.
10. FEAR OF THE FICKLE FUTURE.
This has made me ponder why we Thais with our Buddhist way of life have so much anxieties and fear over things that the Buddha have taught us as the fundamentals of being human. We are subject to birth and live our lives in constant state of flux until such a time that our biological bodies come to an end. Yet we all fear change and the biggest of all change, death.
It seems that being modern Thai what we fear of most is uncertainty/ impermanence and interestingly we fear virtue.
Surely what being Thai is not just what the Tourism Authority of Thailand expound. We cannot forever go on believing that we are amazing Thais who never stop smiling through it all! We risk becoming a cardboard cut-out of TAT campaigns.
As this is the beginning of the year, perhaps we should look at the list and ask ourselves what makes us who we are?
At this moment in time, what makes us Thai to me, is lost in translation.
It makes me post the question, do we Thais really know what historical Thailand is about. It makes me question what do we really know of our history. What we have learnt in school and more importantly what we began to record as our history is not accurate enough as always politic has a hand at writing our history.
May be we should look at the way of life lived outside Bangkok to find out what being Thai is about.
Here is my take on this list,
1. CONCERN OVER HIS MAJESTY = fear of having to grow up and be responsible for our own actions, body, speech and mind!
2. FEAR OF LOSING THAI WAY OF LIFE = fear of change and that also equates to making an effort to change
3. FEAR OF LOSING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY = we have lost that sovereignty when the CIA moved in 50years ago but shhhh…
4. FEAR OF INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM = this one I agree but it will be nice for some to have the ability to intellectualize first and not follow thoughts of others verbatim
5. FEAR OF COLOUR-BLINDNESS, ditto this
6. FEAR OF INSIGNIFICANCE – yes I have to agree with this and that includes the entire high echelon
7. FEAR OF POLITICAL CHAOS – hold on, we have been living in chaos for the past 3 years, haven’t we?
8. FEAR OF TELLING THE TRUTH – yes this might be seen by onlookers as a Thai trait if we’re not careful
9. FEAR OF ABHISIT’S WITHERING LEADERSHIP – what leadership, show me when he actually does that please
10. FEAR OF THE FICKLE FUTURE – yes but hasn’t this fear been with us since the end of WW 2
Hey but this is only one woman opinion. Why not tell me if you agree or better still what do you think are Thais greatest fear?
Happy 2010 and lets live in hope and not in fear.