wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day. May it be
a day of romance and expressions of caring and giving
to your friends, colleagues and family members. Remember
each of them. Take time to let them know how much they
matter to you and make your life worth living.
week I’ve written an essay titled Hearts
and Minds, an appropriate enough title for
a Valentine’s Day message. In Thailand, there is
an emotional war being waged. I explore the psychological
dimension of the war for hearts and minds between those
supporting the government and those seeking to oust the
government and install an appointed ‘people’s
council’ and prime minister.
teaches a great deal is at stake when control over power
and authority is fought over. Democracy has been one way
to contain that battle. Parliament is the place for debate
and making a government accountable to the citizens. Citizens
have power through the ballot box. An effective opposition
can bring down a government inside Parliament. Or it can
take to the streets and turn its back on Parliament.
idea of representative democracy is under challenge in
Thailand. How will this battle of the elites turn out,
with the opposition in the streets, Parliament on hold,
and election that’s not finished and with no end
in sight. When it will be finished? This is a question
for an astrologer. For the rest of us, there is no clear
answer. There are only shrill voices shouting, the fog
of anger, and fast moving winds of highly charged emotional
is preached 24/7 from stages and partisan TV and radio
stations, and personal insults are exchanged. It is useful
to remember that Valentine’s Day is a reminder that
we all think of ourselves as possessing a good heart.
Take a moment to look inside your own heart on this Valentine’s
Day, and ask yourself if you find evidence of tolerance
and compassion for people whose opinions, values and goals
are different from your own.
you need some guidance on the Thai heart, you can download
or send as a gift to someone you love a copy of Heart
Talk for the price of a pint of larger. It might be a
way to say you’ve looked into your heart and there
are some things you’d like to share with others.
a great weekend, good reading, and stay in touch.