Below are 3 videos produced in Thailand that is very touching. I’ve rewatched all the videos below for many many times because it is so close to home and so touching. There are very profound lessons through storytelling that we can all relate to.
A 35 baht Lesson for a Businessman
Everything to him was monetary value. His driver went down to inquire if they are willing to sell the building and came back to report to him the answer was yes. OK, preliminary work done so he got down to try to close the deal.
The owner asked him to have a meal first. For 35 baht (about USD1.12), he could have a plate of rice with braised pork leg and egg, and unlimited refills of free vegetable with dipping sauce and drink of the day. He was a little surprised.
After finishing his meal, he went on to inquire about the deal. The lady told him she aint selling the place. Shocked, he asked how she could sustain by selling at such a low price with free refills and helpings.
Do watch till the end of the video as the lady explained to him why she chose to price her food cheap. How she was able to elevate the financial burden of different groups through providing them with a nutritious warm meal at a cheap price.
As the businessman got back to his car, his driver inquired if he managed to buy the building. The man say, yes, he bought….bought him a packet of price. The driver looked at the rice and looked so touched (maybe because the boss was not the type who would buy him anything as he was too busy with figures and earning money).
TrueMove video- Dad with stroke saved by a good deed he did 30 years ago
This video below by TrueMove (a mobile carrier in Thailand) have been watched over 20 million times. I have watched it many times prior. As I go to this video to embed in this blog post, I rewatched it again and it still bring tears to my eyes.
A boy was caught by a shop owner trying to steal a bottle of cough mixture and 3 packets of painkillers. The shop owner was scolding the boy and soon a crowd build up. A nearby noodle seller came out to see what is happening.
Seeing that the items were medicine, the noodle seller asked if it is for his mother? The boy, who was already in tears nodded. The noodle paid the shop owner so that she let the boy go. He also asked his daughter to prepare a packet of hot vegetable soup to go with the items for the boy to take back. The boy snatched the items and ran away.
30 years later, the father got a stroke and landed in hospital. The daughter, now grown up, was overwhelmed with the medical expenses. She could not afford it and had to arrange to sell the noodle shop. She was asleep next to her father and when she woke up, she got the hospital bill. Preparing for the worse, she opened the bill to find to her surprise the expenses came up to a grand total of 0 baht.
A note to the bill states that the bill was paid 30 years ago with a bottle of cough syrup, 3 packets of painkillers and a packet of vegetable soup.
The mixed rice seller and the noodle soup seller in both the videos above were not rich people. You do not have to be rich to give. Many said that they would start doing charity when they get rich. But when they get rich, they ended up becoming more obsessed to earn more money and got more possessive of their money that they went back against their promise.
My mom spend her childhood starving and hungry most of the time because when she was born, she was sold by her own mother to a poor servant family. Because she was so deprived of food, she loved to eat and develop a deep interest in cooking and baking. We were not rich but mom had this habit of doing lots of baking to be distributed to friends, relatives and neighbors during festive season. My cousin (also poor that time) told me that she used to look forward coming to my house because my mom would always make them some food and desserts.
Poverty did not make her cynical but instead it reminded her how it feels to be deprived of food. It gave her a natural urge and instinct to give food to people. She would not just bake simple stuff to give to people. She would make pineapple jam tarts (peeling and cooking real pineapples for hours in its own juices). Many people love it and she would give them for free. As a nurse serving the third class medical ward (usually consist of poor people), she would then cart the huge tins of jam tarts and danish cookies she made to work and distribute to them for their tea meal.
Like the daughter of the noddle seller in the video above, I grew up having tasked to help my mom with the preparation and baking before I was even 10 years old. With years, I somehow got used to doing it, it is not something I particularly enjoy doing but I helped mom cause it made her happy.
Then there was something strange which I noticed. Whenever we go, we always have nice food to eat. My mom had tonsil cancer 20 years ago and had radiotherapy done on her neck region. The radiotherapy wiped out her salivary glands (meaning no saliva), caused sores and terrible radioactive burning that damaged her throat as well as causing her to lose all the teeth.
By right, she would not be able to eat. After few months of recovery, she was still able to enjoy food even though she had to give up food that are hot/spicy, hard and sour.
The story below runs close to home as my beloved mom also developed Alzheimer’s.
Teacher who took Alzheimer’s mom along to school (by CP group)
In a small village in rural Thailand, a male teacher took his mom along to school. His mom had Alzheimer’s and could not stay by herself at home. So the teacher would bundle his mom up in the motorbike daily to work. His mom would sit at the back of the class while he is teaching.
Initially, the kids were not paying attention at class but was curious and observing his mom. The teacher also had to take his mom to the male toilet when his mom needed to use the toilet (since he cannot be taking her to the female toilet, rite). Sometimes the kids will help to look after his mom for a short while when the teacher need to go to washroom or away to buy lunch. The kids would look as the teacher fed his mom who sometimes do not know how to swallow and the food all came out of her mouth.
The parents begin to talk amongst themselves. While they pity the teacher, they also feel that the place is a school and it is not appropriate for the teacher to take his mom along to work as it inconveniences the students.
So they went to the headmaster and started complaining to the headmaster and insisted the teacher not be allowed to teach in that school. While the headmaster called in the teacher to speak about the matter, his mom, whom he had placed outside the room went missing.
The teacher went frantically to look for his mom. So happened the incident occurred while school is finishing so the students were out and the parents were around to pick up the kids. Upon hearing the frantic calls of the teacher calling and looking for his mom, the schoolchildren, who were with their parents, all ran in unison to help to look for the old lady.
The parents were shocked. And then, their kids came back to their parents- one hugged his mom and another hold his mom’s hands.
During the meeting with parents, the headmaster said that he understand the parents were concerned about the teacher bringing his mom to work. He explained that many other schools had wanted the teacher to teach there because he is talented. But he had declined them all because he wanted to be closer to his mom. He said,
He only has one mother
and she only has him
his mother was the person who gave him life
The parents all looked down, a little ashamed. They no longer wanted to pursue the complain because the realize the value their kids are picking up through seeing how their beloved teacher is caring for his mom who could no longer care for herself. It is something that no school lesson, camps can do.
I had a successful corporate career but I also made the decision to give it up to be a full time caregiver. That time, her dementia symptoms were showing (before that she was so good at hiding it) and she had a bout of acute hepatitis B attack. I realized all the money in the world was not going to be worth it if I do not do the best while my mom was still alive. I never had the chance to repay my dad who passed away from stroke 20 years ago (same time as my mom’s tonsil cancer operation).
It has been slightly more than 3 years. Taking care of a person with dementia is not easy and I face the daily challenges that the teacher above faces at home. But it is both a rewarding and humbling experience. I have no regrets.