Over the last several posts, I addressed many disruptions that paralyze the development of Thai society. Political conflicts and government incompetence has disordered every aspect of people’s lives and upraises chaos everywhere. Among the darkness of people’s anger and despair, however, there is a guiding light, shining relentlessly to relieve the difficulties and lift everybody up. This calm and enduring light has guided all the subjects for nearly a century. It is the light that shines from “Father of the land”, “The King of our Nation.”
King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, on 5 December 1927. His Majesty has been the King of Thailand since June 9, 1946, making him currently the longest reigning monarch in the world. As a constitutional monarch, he is above politics. His Majesty has acted righteously in all of the political events of Thailand from past to the present. Never has he involved in any politics other than being the mediator in the really extreme situations, when he tries his best to get to the most peaceful and practical solution. Rather, his main focus is to better the livelihood of the Thai people especially in the rural area and far-reaching corners of the kingdom. It is said that he is the only King and the only individual in Thailand, past, present, and most probably the future, to see every single square inch of the kingdom. Where there were no roads, he used helicopters. Where there were no places for helicopters to land, he went by jeeps, horses, and even on foot. With his visits, he brought medical teams as well as surveyors to plan the connection of all towns and villages. Since the majority of the Thai people are farmers who depend solely on crops for their income, most of his royal projects are concerned with irrigation control, land management, sufficient economy and natural crisis preparedness. During the time of natural crisis, especially, the King has always been the first person to be on the scene. Only recently has the King been unable to travel to the affected places due to health problems; nevertheless, his team has continued to visit and help out according to the King’s instructions. During the flooding disaster in late 2010, the King’s team was the first to act while government team became the slowest due to all the bureaucracies they had to go through before help could be dispatched to the flooding victims. Thai people, especially the rural Thais, need someone who really cares just to be there as a comfort among chaos. The King has been just that. Photos of the King and Queen adorn the walls of most homes in Thailand, for that reason. When they feel bad, they look up to the King’s photo to regain hope and courage. When they are happy, they look up to the King’s photo to thank him for having been their King.