Remembering The Great King

Today marks the anniversary of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We believe there was nothing more fitting than to ask nine people from different walks of life to share their thoughts on the great king and his legacy.

May he forever live in millions of Thai hearts and remain a force of good that inspires us all. 


Theerawat Thongmitr

Editor-in-chief of Prism magazine

His impact

Photo: LOOQ

I grew up with his stories, lessons and guidance. He was part of everyday life for Thais. I believe that, when we say he’s the father of the nation, it is not an overstatement. That’s how Thai people truly feel about him.

How he inspired us

He was an example of diligence and persistence to me. In so many of his royal duties, I felt he put his people first. His concept of self-sufficiency is also something that is applicable to our daily life. I believe if you follow it, you will arrive at peace of mind and contentment.

The fondest memories of him

The Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne in 2006 at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. I was there and it was an unforgettable experience for me, seeing how many Thais were there to celebrate the occasion. I felt the admiration that Thais had for him in the air. There was this overwhelming energy that I can’t describe.

His legacy

He is our common heart, if you will. It may be a short description, but I think it best explains what is in our hearts. He will remain in our hearts forever.

The Greatest Memory Lives On

Catherine Faulder

The king of hearts
he lit our souls
sparking love
and a reign supreme.

A year ago,
he left his home,
but his presence remains,
unseen.

The king of hearts
he touched our souls,
and held our hearts
in admiration, right between

his noble face
and fatherly embrace,
and the sound of saxophone notes,
serene.

The king of hearts
had a love of art
photography, the sufficiency economy,
sailing and rain-making machines.

The king of kings
he held our hearts
and in our fights would
peacefully intervene.

The king of jazz,
the king of hearts,
the king of kings
the king of art
the king of barges
that sailed by river boats,
the king of making sure
our economy stayed afloat.
He taught us that doing good
is the thing to do,
despite how hard it can be.
He showed us how
to better lives,
By doing what we love, truthfully.

The winds did change
on that October day
and memories of a year-long mourning,
will never fade.
We knew one day
you’d sail away
but in our memories you will forever stay.

In our memories
you will forever live…
We can still hear the sound of your song.
The king of hearts who did give
All he had to give…
The lessons he taught live on.

Lessons of art, lessons of life
lessons of morality
and how to best deal with strife.
We knew the king who had but gave it all,
forever in our hearts, the great Rama Nine,
our love for you,
will always stand tall.

Arch Wongchindawest

Co-founder of Socialgiver

His impact

There is so much for us to be thankful for when it comes to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Though he was someone few of us have met, he shaped our lives in more ways than we could ever imagine. His generosity, thoughtfulness and embracing of diversity have shaped our lives and this country. I just can’t imagine how different things would be if not for his dedication and his tireless efforts for our nation.

How he inspired us

Personally, he has inspired me to make personal sacrifices for the greater good; to pursue the difficult work which must be done and to always find courage to do what is right.

The fondest memories of him

He did not live like a king, but like a father, who tried his best to take care of everyone in this nation.

His legacy

I wish that more Thais would find the inspiration to follow his footsteps — so that we can continue his good work and legacy and take care of each other to create a happy home for all.

Winyu Wongsurawat

Co-founder of SpokeDark TV

His impact

I think every Thai is connected to him in one way or another. Some followed his royal duties through the media. Some had a chance to meet him in person. My parents are civil servants and his teachings for them are passed down onto their children. One strong point the king emphasised all along is that not only do you have to be responsible for personal matters but you also must do your part in contributing to the common good. I believe this is why my family always pays extra attention to what goes on in our society and for this, he was a role model to us.

How he inspired us

He embodied leadership. Whenever there was a problem in society, he taught us that working together to solve it is important. It’s rare to have a leader who’s also selfless. I believe he realised the importance of leadership and has been a driving force to solve the many problems that Thailand faced. And we all felt it throughout his reign.

The fondest memories of him

He gave a televised speech to us every year. I feel that was a way for him to directly communicate with his people to remind us to be mindful while also offering us peace of mind, as we knew he had been following what was going on throughout the kingdom.

His legacy

For me, the thought of him evokes feelings of closeness, safety and happiness.

Aliza Napartivaumnuay

Co-founder of Socialgiver

His impact

The late king has imprinted his teachings in me through his words of wisdom. For example, being mindful of our thoughts and actions, as they are reflected in the results we reap.

How he inspired us

The late king definitely demonstrated that although doing good for the benefit of society is very difficult and requires time to have a sustainable impact, it is something that we all must pursue with strong intent and commitment. I’ve definitely grown my level of resilience while growing my social enterprise, knowing that regardless of what obstacles may need to be overcome, we all must commit to doing what is right. Like he taught us to.

The fondest memories of him

I am in awe of him being a true Renaissance man — able to enjoy and excel in multiple pursuits. Seeing that he was always and continuously willing to work by all means to uplift the livelihood of those less fortunate — such a powerful choice he made with all the time he had. Through the stories shared over generations, his sharp sense of humour and compassion are also second to none.

His legacy

The late king will be remembered for all the times he stood for his people — how our generation grew up with him as the heart and soul of the nation. Our respect and love for him has always brought peace and harmony, regardless of the situation. Though he will surely be remembered, I do hope his efforts to make our country self-sufficient and to have compassion for one another will be multiplied over the years to come, through what he has tried to demonstrate to us. I hope that is a reflection of how we remember him in our hearts.

Jay Spencer

Co-founder of Woof Pack Building

His impact

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej shaped the nation we all currently live in. We are all better off for having lived his reign.

How he inspired us

There are two things that inspired me on a personal level. Firstly, his decision to adopt humble street dogs rather than buying pedigree breeds showed his compassion and understanding about the important qualities of what make a good companion — loyalty. Secondly, the concept of sufficiency, something that I am trying to incorporate into our new projects. We are currently repurposing old buildings, thus using less resources and preserving local neighbourhoods and culture.

The fondest memories of him

I was living abroad for many years so most of my information on His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was gathered through programmes or newsreels. The thing that always struck me as amazing was his dedication to the country. He travelled extensively and must have visited practically every corner of the kingdom to see the conditions and hardships faced by his subjects. He also took an active role in trying to improve the lives of his people.

His legacy

He is the guiding light that illuminated the path for our future generations.

Thakorn Wannawong

Fashion designer, creative director and founder of Takara Wong

His impact

He has been a great inspiration for me in my artistic pursuits and my daily life. I feel so fortunate to be born in a time when I could witness how hard he worked for his people. He excelled in many things, including art and music, so he was a constant source of inspiration that I will always look up to. 

How he inspired us

Because he excelled in art and music, I was inspired to contribute to society through my artistic and creative work too. I also abide by his teachings of sufficiency and moderation in my personal life.

The fondest memories of him

My family and I gathered in front of the TV to watch him give speeches on his birthdays. These were opportunities to receive his teachings and guidance. Some may find them boring but my family always looked forward to them. We also collected the New Year greeting cards which he designed. 

His legacy

I would like to think that he will be remembered as the king who earned true admiration from his people through his merit and teachings. 

Chanasinj Sachdev

Pronto Denim creative director and host of Pint and Shoot YouTube show

His impact

I grew up quite out of touch with “Thainess” so I was never into Thai TV or Thai history. I didn’t read much about the king or study what he did. The impact he’s had on my life comes indirectly, from my family — more specifically, the uncontainable joie de vivre that bubbled up inside them every time news about him appeared on TV.

How he inspired us

With my career, his impact comes through my elder brother and business partner, Dan. The late king was quite the style icon and that inspired the items Dan selects for our stores from brands all over the world. Not only that, but the king’s accomplished works in music and the arts can be seen and heard in our office and stores. There’s also a huge cabinet at the back of the meeting room with vintage photos of the king when he was younger. The king literally permeates every aspect of our stores.

The fondest memories of him

The memories of me as a child, hanging out with the family at my maternal grandfather’s place, listening to his stories of the king. Actually, it was evident that my grandfather’s whole being was fuelled by the late king. He ran a Buddhist comic book printing company and operated a super-cheap food stall for the poor in front of his house; he also engaged in countless charitable projects all over Thailand and was a Thai-national tennis player! He met the king on many occasions. My grandfather was larger than life, and he was so devoted to the king. And that is my fondest memory of the king, how he inspired my grandfather.

His legacy

He is Thailand. It’s an undeniable truth. Regardless of where you are on the ideological spectrum, it’s undeniable that his life and legacy has resonated in some way with everyone. Directly and indirectly. The story of the God-like late king inspires the inspirational. His legacy is a force of good that lives in the back of everyone’s mind in this country.

Sarun Kungbunpot

Award-winning singer and Bank of Ayudhya’s senior vice president — head of talent acquisition

His impact

When I was young, I didn’t know much about him but I knew that he was my king, to whom I duly sang the royal anthem for. I knew he was important to Thailand from seeing his face on banknotes and in public places and from what I was told by my parents and teachers, yet I didn’t fully grasp how he was the heart and soul to this country. My mum asked me if I loved him and I innocently replied: “I don’t know”.

But, as I grew older, he became a magnificent ruler to me, who helped his people during many crises. Now that I’m grown up and have been able to see the world more, I realise he was an unbelievable king who excelled in various pursuits and was an exemplar for Thais to follow. He chose to work hard for his people during his 70-year reign, even when he didn’t have to.

Today, I know that I love him without the need to have someone persuade or pressure me to do so. I haven’t fully come to terms with his passing. It is one of the great losses of my life. It still makes me sad when I think about it.

How he inspired us

For me, he was the exemplar of someone who chose to make his life beneficial to others. All of his royal duties and projects boil down to that statement. He chose to work hard and endure hardship — when he had a choice to do otherwise — to better countless lives. Although not all Thais got to meet him in real life, I believe, in our hearts, he was our king. I try to follow in his footsteps in doing good for others in a way that I can in my work and everyday life.

The fondest memories of him

I sang before him when I was nine. While I was singing, he took photos of me. I was so surprised and ran to my mum to tell her that the king took my photos. My family was so touched because we respect him so much.

His legacy

I believe he will go down in history as a symbol of goodness for all Thais. He will remain a demi-god that millions of Thais will wholeheartedly bow to for years and years to come. He will be a symbol of greatness not only because of his royalty status but also the many good deeds he did for Thailand.

Tom Potisit

Fashion photographer and founder of Tom Potisit Photography

His impact

He inspired me to be selfless and to think of others. He also inspired me to keep learning new things everyday and to use that knowledge to help others whenever I could. Even being the most important man in the country, he was always down to earth and always treated others with compassion. He always put the country and his people first and that is truly inspirational.

How he inspired us

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was a man of many talents. He was a sportsman, a music man, a scientist and a photographer. He used photography to help improve the lives of the people. In a speech he gave at The First Annual Bangkok Art and Photography Event 2007, he said, “Use photography to create value for society. Art can help improve the country.” His speech has moved and inspired me to this day to use my photography to help address important issues that need attention.

The fondest memories of him

When I visited Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2011 I got a chance to learn about his childhood (the king lived with his family on and off in Switzerland from 1933 to 1951). I was told that the young king often built his own toys and played with them outdoors. He had a small boat and he dug into the earth to create a small canal (similar accounts are told in Chaonai Leklek Yuwakasat or Little Princes – Young Kings written by Princess Galyani Vadhana). Knowing this has had a great impact on my perspective of him. It foreshadowed that he had a great responsibility ahead of him and would later become a developer king.

His legacy

He will always be remembered as the central heart of Thai people. The king who was kind and very much loved by his people. The king who dedicated his life, even as a royal, to nonetheless work for his people. The father of the nation who inspired us in so many ways. The guiding light we can always look up to as a role model to live our lives.?

Article source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/social-and-lifestyle/1341827/remembering-the-great-king

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