Thai people have the problem of working without any expectations for progress. How do we cultivate more dedication and a stronger work ethic in Thai people like those in other developed countries?

Thai people have the problem of working without any expectations for progress, which has resulted in the slow development of our country. How do we cultivate more dedication and a stronger work ethic in Thai people like those in other developed countries?

Dhamma Articles > Question and Answer for Life
[ Mar 26th, 2005 ] - [ read : 12015 ]
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ble Luang Phaw, Thai people have the problem of working without any expectations for progress, which has resulted in the slow development of our country.  How do we cultivate more dedication and a stronger work ethic in Thai people like those in other developed countries?
by Venerable Dhattajeevo Bhikku 
In order for a person to work with dedication, he must have an objective in life.  It is much more difficult if he does not have an objective.  There are many levels of dedication.  On the basic level, the objective is to become self-sufficient.  What does this entail?  At the minimum, he desires to be independent without the need to rely on others for help, to survive own with his two hands and feet and brain.  He will not exploit others, and survive on this earth by earning an honest living.  If a person has this objective, it should be enough to motivate him to be diligent.  

Once he is independent, he should set as a higher objective: the goal of taking care of his parents and those he value, such as his wife, his children, and his countrymen.  In the workplace, his objective should be to work as well or even better than his colleagues.  

Setting an objective would stimulate him to work with purpose and to develop a better work ethic.  Even if he is not knowledgeable in Dhamma, his diligence will prevent him from becoming a burden on society.  But those who do not even have a small objective in life may find themselves struggling to survive.  He could find himself succumbing to the temptations of alcohol or gambling.  Ultimately, he and others like him can affect the progress and growth of their country. 

From the very beginning our ancestors have always taught us to encourage our children when they are very young to have an objective in life.  They would ask, “My child, what do you want to be when you grow up?”  But people rarely ask this question anymore.  They may ask their children if they want to become a doctor, lawyer, or teacher.  You could be whatever you want, but the important thing is that you must have a goal. 

These days, our children do not have these worthy aspirations, but have other goals instead.  They are interested in goals that can lead to ruin.  They want to be a singer or a dancer or be crowned Miss Universe.  Please understand that I am not trying to dismiss these career choices.  However, there are only a very few who actually achieve these goals.  Or they have the desire to become a professional game contestant like those seen on TV.  Looking at it at first we may think that these things are fun and exciting.  But it teaches our children to pursue their life based on fate or random luck.  These sorts of things should be eradicated from our country.

This applies to all the other temptations as well, like playing computer games.  This habit makes one poor in our time management since our focus is only on having fun.  This hunger for entertainment takes away focus from extending one’s character, knowledge, and development.  We waste enormous amounts of our time and energy on these computer games.

Therefore, if you would like to see Thai people more dedicated when it comes to work, I would like to leave you with one thought.  Our children need to have clear set objectives in life.  Parents, teachers and administrators should encourage and show them how to set one’s life objectives.  Thai teenagers should set their lives with right objectives.  The desire to enter and compete in beauty contests should be avoided because these things are short-lived.  They should focus on developing an objective in obtaining a higher education so that they can earn a good living and be able to take care of themselves, their parents, spouse and children.

Setting these types of objectives will inspire diligence and dedication to the profession, not just for survival from day to day.  These objectives can disappear if we become too consumed with evils that can lead to ruin.  Our children should stay away from bad influences such as friends who encourage them to go to bars, nightclubs, to gamble, and all other temptations. 

The most evil and detrimental of influences is the type of media that holds no accountability.  These are media that fall in the category of debauchery and depravity.  This is one of the evilest types of companion because it can creep into our bedrooms.  If we do not eliminate these things from our country, the virtue and well-being of the children of today and the future will be non-existent. 

When the aspiration to be a good and honorable human being of the world ceases to exist, there will only be people who work without any dedication.  For that reason, since you are an officer of the armed forces, the focus of your effort to change the people should start at home and the armed forces first before taking on the whole nation.  Make yourself deserving of honor and respect from others by going to work on time, maintaining the rules, and obeying the laws.  Be a role model for your peers, subordinates, and people above you in rank.  Then from your knowledge and expertise in the world, maintain your respectability as you continue to progress in your career.  

At the same time, you should go to the temple and practice Buddhist teachings so that it may provide you with knowledge of the Dhamma.  Your wealth of knowledge in the Dhamma can then be shared with your subordinates, friends and superiors.  Then you should encourage them to go to the temple and practice Dhamma too so that they too can learn to steer away from evil temptations and strengthen their self-discipline in the world and Dhamma.  Only through developing our own dedication can we begin to help those that work without much desire and motivation.  The effort and change start with you.


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