From the family to the school and society at large, everyone teaches children to listen to the poo-yai.
The poo-yai are the guide in nurturing both intellectual and emotional growths, the compass for moral virtue and ethical standards. After all, the poo-yai have the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of life experiences.
In theory, what is written above is correct. In practice, it depends. In the context of modern-day Thailand, young people are saying no, it’s not correct.
The poo-yai have set a poor standard. Therefore the young no longer believe in them.
Take the word “good,” for example.
The definition of good is “that which is morally right.” We attach values to the term. It is an admirable quality that everyone should desire to attain and practice. It exemplifies honesty and integrity, kindness and generosity, creating peace, unity, and harmony.
The poo-yai gives the word “good” a face and a name: General Prayut Chan-o-cha. Every day, young people and everyone else is reminded, if not bombarded, by the notion that “Uncle Tuu is good.”
Because of this, the people should vote for him, listen to his words, take his side, and do as he commands. After all, he and what he represents is the standard for moral virtue. Therefore, to support him is for the betterment of the Kingdom of Thailand.
But the facts don’t add up.
Armed robbery is never morally virtuous, yet the 2014 military coup robbed an entire nation of freedom. Cheating is never morally righteous, yet the 250 junta-appointed senators cheated a whole country out of a fair election system. Bullying is not a moral act, yet the authorities intimidate and harass citizens. Arbitrary usage of the law is an act of tyranny, yet citizens are arrested without warrants and due process of law.
Violation of human rights, suppression of liberty, and double standards in society are abuses of power, yet children are expected to believe those who abuse power represent righteousness.
Take a look at the characters in the government: From the lover of luxury watches to the chef of “rad-nah” noodles who traveled to the Land Down Under with a bag of fleur, and to the lady chicken farmer who’s also a social media troll.
Children are expected to believe they are the force of good, like The Avengers? Meanwhile, those standing up and speaking out peacefully for fairness and justice get arrested and thrown in jail.
In Thailand, we teach children to embrace those who are morally corrupt as “good people.” It is no wonder that they have lost faith in the poo-yai and are taking the future into their own hands.