Nobody wants to be put down. In fact we do our best to put on our best face and do our best to contribute to the bigger picture. But when it comes to criticism people have to take the good with the bad when viewed through the eyes of other people. The reason for this is we all have our opinions, and as long as expressed opinions are not malicious, we should listen and perhaps get a few ideas on how to improve.
This is such a big issue in Thailand and there are so many facets, it is hard to know where to start. In Part 1 we just outlined the issue as seen with the eyes of some. But for this to be addressed properly, we must look at the behavior of the Thais as well when some truth that is less that flattering is reported on. It is these negative reactions that are at the core of this issue.
Internet laws that will get you tossed in jail, censorship, powerful defamation laws and a few other things are the standard reactions of Thais when something is said that is not flattering be it the truth or not. This itself draws attention to a greater underlying issue that is deeply rooted in Thai culture that can come back to haunt them later. That part of Thai culture is simply (mai pen rai) or ‘Don’t worry about it.’
This laid back approach to things makes Thailand a wonderful laid back country where problems melt away for the average tourist. The sharp edges of life are smoothed over and the stress of the rest of the world can be left behind. But that is a bit of a double edge sword for the Thais when applied universally.
Generally speaking the rest of the world seems to be a bit more concerned about things than the average Thai. That concern simply translates into stress and anxiety, and that is simply not what Thailand is about unless politics is involved, and that is only a recent change over the past few years..
The laid back approach to life does leave a person or a country far from the front of the pack, and that often tends to be the source of criticism when Thailand tries to jump line so to speak. The attempts at tasks that requires much more than what Thailand has ever demonstrated is cause for genuine alarm. Point in note being nuclear power plants. The screams of no and dread are loud and clear when people consider putting Thais in the control room of something that can go so drastically wrong.
It is this laid back don’t worry about it attitude that is now feeding the growing ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP oil spill. They bypassed several safety protocols with someone saying ‘Don’t worry about it’, and this is what people fear if Thais are given the controls.
Needless to say when the Thais are given critical review, they get upset as would anyone with a low score. So to hide those low scores, they block or attack that observation with the before mentioned methods of laws and censorship.
Next part 3 of 5