Cultural respect and being professional

I was always encouraged to accept other peoples values and to respect their customs and religion as well as many other things. What I find difficult is the fact that no matter how much I accept and try to adapt to Thai ways of thinking it always comes back to the fact that Westerner are not appreciated for the skills we bring to Thailand and Thai attitude changes like the wind changes direction.

The Thai people could learn so much from other cultures but always seem to think that their way is always the best way and refuse to accept it when they are wrong. It is no disgrace to ask for help quite the opposite it shows wisdom and strength. The attitude of some, not all of the Thai people is terrible and borders on abusive and blatantly unsociable, This would be totally unacceptable in other countries and societies throughout the world. Before the systems can change here the Thai people have to understand and accept that they are not always correct and learn how to accept help from more experienced professionals. Lets face it we all proof read and correct Thai teachers work or writing because it is mostly wrong but we have to educate the teachers also.

Thought processes and attitudes can be changed and a country can grow not only in wealth and prosperity but in ways that encourage cultural awareness and being a part of a more tolerant society toward other nationalities. I have witnessed first hand the good and bad attitudes of Thailand and it really needs to be reformed because in 2015 the ASEAN community will be expecting a fair and equal opportunity to be shown to their countrymen when coming to Thailand to work or to do business.

If Thai attitudes and systems do not change then there will be a massive problem on the horizon because other nations will not accept this behaviour. Sometimes we all have to take a step back and view the world in a different light. Lets hope Thai people can do the same and start to realize that there are consequences to everything and sometimes we have to accept that others are right and be aware of our limitations.

I have in my career both as a teacher and a lecturer in schools and universities around the world seen good and bad teachers. Some respect us for what we do and the skills we have; others are defensive because they are ineffective at teaching and see us as a threat. That kind of thinking only damages and weakens a society and in my opinion it has to stop now because there is only one loser in that scenario and that is the future generations of students and people. It does not matter if they want to learn or not we are professionals doing a difficult job that has to be done.

All we ask for from the Thai people is the respect and human dignity as well as the right to have an opinion on matter's that relate to us and our job. Let us just hope that things will change in the very near future and we can start to have a greater input into our students educations and not be demeaned or belittled as we are now as frustrating as it is.

Dr John Smith

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