Having the privileges to clean water, quality education and more, I was able to learn, strive and achieve because of my environment.
Growing up in a bubble of wealth but regularly taking trips to rural parts of the country, I was stuck between the parallels of rich and poor. I have seen the striking contrasts – the boy complaining about his lagging PlayStation and the other boy taping up his torn, overly-worn flip flops. The woman who shops for a pair of shoes that she will only wear once to a wedding and the other woman who carries her baby on her back while dragging baskets of fruits to the market. What was causing all this difference? Was it what people always tell me, that only those who work hard become rich? From my observations, that didn’t seem to be the case.
Life is a fixed lottery system, and we don’t get to choose.
People born into families with low-income are almost always trapped into the vicious cycle of the poor. With little income, parents are not able to provide their children with nurturing conditions and quality education. In Thailand, the education system is particularly rigid and oppressive. Children are not taught to think for themselves and or question their teachers. They are often silenced by the authorities and their ideals.
“What do you want to be when you grow up Somkid?”
“That’s absurd, Somkid. Your dad is a plumber and your mom sells noodles in front of the school. Be more realistic. What about joining the army?”
Somkid worked hard and continued his studies while helping his mom sell noodles in the evening. Eventually, he joined the army. Now, he’s a driver who lives with his wife and two children next door to his parents. The two kids are enrolled in the same school he went to and are en-route to becoming the next Somkids.
These people are not taught to do better. These people are not taught to strive and achieve. We live in an ecosystem, which traps people in the level of hierarchy where they are born into. We paint a picturesque society where everyone can climb up the social ladder if they work hard enough. Yet that ladder does not exist. It’s bullshit.
Life is a fixed lottery system: I got lucky, I didn’t get to choose what family I was born into, but I do get to choose what I can do with my life. And you get to, too. What are you going to do to help demolish the stagnating stratum caused by society?