The Future of the Nation
Today is Children’s Day here in Thailand. When I was younger, I used to think Children’s Day was such a cool concept; how Thai kids got a whole day all to themselves, much like mother’s or father’s day. When we lived in the States, my dad used to tell me all the time that Thais really respect and cherish children, but I never quite understood what he truly meant until we moved here. Like the Thai saying goes – “Children are the future of the nation” – if you raise your children with a firm and loving hand, then they will hopefully turn out to be strong and compassionate invidiuals in the future.
But despite the great amount of respect that Thai adults in general have for children, there still is a large handful of kids who are dealt a much crueler fate in life. This morning, while I was waiting at the traffic light at the Din Dang intersection, I saw two kids trying to sell flower garlands and newspapers to passing cars. The sad thing was that I recognized the two kids’ older sister, who must be around my age now. Since moving back here 10 years ago, I remember how I’d always see her weaving through the string of cars, selling flower garlands at that same intersection every single time I drove by. Ten years later – and ten years older – and she’s still selling flower garlands. While I understand that some poor families really need any extra cash they can get, kids shouldn’t have to work for a living like that any day, regardless of whether it’s Children’s day or not.
Meanwhile, Children’s Day is being downplayed a bit this year in light of the thousands of children who were affected by the tsunamis. Again, as a friendly reminder, if you haven’t donated already, please do.