Let's evaluate what happens here in Thailand as something we can learn from rather than condemn.
I firmly believe that we can look at Thailand and learn a lot about how we prepare our kids to enter society and live rewarding lives with the resources they have and priorities they live by.
The promised land or the den of lions?
One of the books I recently read is Bangkok to Ben Nevis Backwards, by Phil Hall. It could have been my story, minus the marriage to a Thai woman, a son, and an almost completed house in the countryside.
31 cool and awesome things about living and teaching in rural Thailand
Before we get into the list I just want to mention that everything is written in good fun. Expats and Thailand veterans will understand more than first timers. Certain sentences and parts reflect my own specific experience more so than the general one. Some of it might come across as sappy, but I've had a very positive experience in Thailand and the glass is half full for me.
Coping with the demands and frustrations of teaching
Stay positive and view issues pertaining to Thai education with a broad mind. Balancing your concerns, with a deeper understanding of how Buddhist values reverberate in the local community is the way to go!
Perhaps it's too easy to ignore the plight of the city's homeless?
Stroll along any sois and it is not uncommon at all to see men, wild hair unwashed, shoeless and half-naked, scavenge in overflowing bins. Drug addicts, unfortunate immigrants or just plain poor, it is hard to tell, but pitiful all the same.
Thailand is ruled by men, not laws
I understand that Thai people do not like causing conflict or losing face, but the first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one
One aspect of Thai culture that must be the envy of the world
We foreigners may see some aspects of Thai culture as idiosyncratic, but it truly warms my heart when I see even young people in Thailand getting along in spite of personal differences
Thailand has an impressive number of females in management positions
Did you know that in 2012, Thailand had the third highest number of women in management positions at 39% compared to 20% in the UK and 17% in the US.
East versus West
People in Thailand have a more fatalistic view of life than people in the west do. This view may seem odd to most westerners, especially to Americans, who believe that they should do their best to control the vicissitudes of life.
Potentially contentious issues in the LOS
"All in the game" is a great statement for Thailand. Omar, Avon, Stringer and the rest of the gang nailed it. Thailand is controlled by a few at the expense of the majority. The majority respond by doing what they can. It applies to all facets of daily life. For foreigners living in Thailand we're somewhere on the border of it all.