Honour Others for a Satisfied Life

Winning with Honour  l  Straits Times 20161023  l  Thousands of Thais sing royal anthem for late King.png

The Straits Times published an article today on how 150,000 Thais gathered outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace yesterday to sing the royal anthem, alongside a 100-piece orchestra and professional choir, to show their devotion to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on 13 October after a 70 year reign. You can read the article here and view a video by Reuters here.

Throughout his long reign, King Bhumibol worked tirelessly to increase the well-being of the Thai people, and by doing so, he earned not only the respect, but also the love of his people. You can read more about why the Thai King was so beloved by his people in this Channel NewsAsia article and video here.

Since his passing on 13 October, there have been so many interviews with Thai who mentioned that they love their King. In this Straits Times article published on 13 October, Ms Darunee Thitchan, a Thai national who was in Singapore on the day the King’s death was announced shared: “I loved him so much; he was like a father to me.”

This outpouring of grief and expression of love for the late King Bhumibol reflects that his life was a purposeful life, lived with love and concern for others.

Death is a fate that all human beings shared. But the lives that are lived between birth and death are very different, and the reactions of those around the deceased regarding their passing are also very different. 

So, what makes a satisfied and impactful life?

As shared on page 11-17 of Winning with Honour, research has shown that to live a satisfied life, we need to value love above everything else. Research also shows that the need for Transcendence—that is, helping others reach their personal growth and self-fulfilment—is ranked as the highest of all needs in the human psyche.

Hence, the highest need we all have is to move beyond just thinking of ourselves to contributing to the lives of others by doing good for their lives.

To put it simply, if we want to live satisfied lives, we have to remember that it is not about ourselves, but about others.

And in order to honour others, we need to dedicate ourselves to practise “eulogy virtues” on a daily basis, as described by David Brooks, writer and commentator in the New York Times, in his book, “The Road to Character” (Random House 2015) and on page 425 of Winning with Honour:

“Recently I’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. 

The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed. 

“Most of us would say that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé virtues, but I confess that for long stretches of my life I’ve spent more time thinking about the latter than the former. 

Our education system [referring to the American education system] is certainly oriented around the résumé virtues more than the eulogy ones. Public conversation is, too—the self-help tips in magazines, the nonfiction bestsellers. Most of us have clearer strategies for how to achieve career success than we do for how to develop a profound character.”

If you want to live a satisfied and impactful life, honour your life today by loving others and thinking about others…it is only in your best interest to do so, as reflected by the life and passing of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


Photo credit: Straits Times

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