Father's Day in Thailand
Today, 5 December 2014, is the 87th birthday of the King of Thailand, HM Bhumibol Adulyadej, the longest reigning monarch in the world. His birthday is celebrated as Father's Day in Thailand. I spent a good part of the morning reading tweets about the King and retweeting many of the best postings. The Twitter hashtag #WeLoveKingTH was in the top ten of trending hashtags all day long and as I write this, it is in the #1 position, with #2 held by #longlivetheking, #6 held by #Happy Father's Day and #Thailand coming in at #8.
One of the first messages I retweeted summed up really well how the Thai people feel about their king. It said "My king never wear crown I only saw him walking around carrying a camera and map helping his people." There were many variations of this with a huge variety of pictures and videos showing the King meeting with his people all over the country, in their villages, out among them and helping them with whatever they needed.
Another popular theme was to state that the King kept the promise he gave on 5 May 1950, the day of his coronation, when he said, "เราจะครองแผ่นดินโดยธรรมเพื่อประโยชน์สุขแห่งมหาชนชาวสยาม," which has been translated as, "We shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people." From what I have seen, the feeling among the Thai people is essentially unanimous that he kept this promise. For an American, this is an amazing unanimity to witness, but one that has been very well earned from everything I have learned.
I can't think of any American who made such a sweeping promise and was then recognized as having kept it over a period of more than six decades. We should all aspire to such integrity!
[ Image of the King is from this Tweet. ]