A Society with the emphasis on balance and moderation,Is It Possible in Thailand?

The King of Thailand has suggested to his people that they learn to live with an emphasis on balance and moderation.
Children are physically obese and mentally starved. The Baht has replaced Buddhism. There is little  balance and there is little moderation to be found in Thailand from The Highest Government Officers to the remotest of villager. People want and want and want with little if any attention to their King. His ideas are not  Draconian or harsh, they are simply as the Buddha taught.
On this the 21st Anniversary of the death of Ajahn Chah it seem appropriate  to look atThe  Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy in Thailand


Sufficiency economy is a philosophy that stresses the middle path as the overriding
principle for appropriate conduct and way of life of the entire populace at all levels. It applies to conduct
and way of life at individual, family, and community levels. At the national level, the
philosophy is consistent with a balanced development strategy and excesses
that may arise as a result of globalization. Sufficiency means moderation and due consideration
in all modes of conduct,and incorporates the need for sufficient protection from internal
and external shocks. To achieve this, the prudent application of knowledge is essential. In
particular, great care is needed in the application of theories and technical know-how and in
planning and implementation. At the same time, it is essential to strengthen the moral fibre of
the nation so that everyone, particularly public officials, academics, business people, and
financiers adhere first and foremost to the principles of honesty and integrity. A balanced
approach combining patience, perseverance, diligence, wisdom, and prudence is indispensable to
cope appropriately with critical challenges arising from extensive and rapid socio-economic,
environmental, and cultural change occurring as a result of globalization.

Presently, the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economyis the guiding force for the development of the
country,which is now under the 9th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2002 – 2006).
According to the evaluation of the results of previous national development plans over the past
four decades, it is clear that unbalanced development has given some quantifiable success but
it has come without quality. The key weaknesses in the past development efforts were the
centralization of administrative and development authority, educational quality that lagged
behind modern technology, scientific knowledge and technology that
were not good enough to enhance the country’s competitiveness at the international level,
poverty, unfair income distribution, increasing natural resource degradation and the resultant
conflicts in society. Furthermore, the country has seen society reeling under the influence of
materialistic values that cause so many problems and much moral concern.

Nevertheless, the past development efforts had their strengths since they provided the
country with plenty of economic and social capital. This capital could be used for future
development. For example, during the past development process, the country has seen
administrative reform, the decentralization of power, public participation and a strengthening
of Thai culture and wisdom. In addition, as major changes in the world have required, Thailand
has pursued development in various areas. Human resources have been developed and
necessary mechanisms have been laid down to ensure that Thailand will be able to keep
pace with new changes and will be able to compete with other countries.
In the face of these weaknesses and strengths, opportunities and obstacles, the upcoming
phase of development is very important. The new phase must achieve more tangible results
from the country’s economic and social reform. This phase must strive to bring the country out
of financial crisis while also providing a healthy and stable economic foundation for the
country. The country needs to have greater self-reliance and immunity against impact from
the outside world. Thus, the new phase of development must encourage cooperation and
unity in the administration of the country in ever-changing circumstances. Also, this new phase
must create new values in Thai society. These new values must be designed to turn Thailand
into a healthy and balanced society in three following respects:

1) Quality Society with the emphasis on balance and moderation
2) A Knowledge-based and Learning Society that promotes learning processes that ensure Thais know how to think and how to act. This is the society in which rational thinking, creativity and learning are to be encouraged. This is whereThais can learn throughout their lives and can keep pace with the changing world, and
3) A United and Caring Society in which members are virtuous, cherish unity and are caring
towards one another.

Based on an analysis of current situations and trends, all relevant parties agree that His
Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy should be the guiding principle for the country’s
upcoming phase of development. Through this guiding principle, development can continue
smoothly from the previous plan that started the people-based development concept. The
Sufficiency Economy philosophy can also provide the country with economic, social and
political solutions, as well as immunity against the impact of change both within and outside
the country. The philosophy is expected to lead Thai society towards çsustainable development
and the well-being of Thais. All these reasons explain why the Sufficiency Economy has
become the development framework for all areas mentioned in the 9th national economic
and social development plan (2002 – 2006), had been implemented.

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