“Everyone Has Potential to Contribute Back to Society”

Thanabodee (Duke) is from Thailand. In his own words, he is drawn to the prospect of working in a broad spectrum of industries, interacting with the brightest and the best, and to have a challenging future career that is constantly changing and growing. Moreover, having an international background, he really values diversity and thoroughly enjoy experiencing different cultures. His GTF Mentor is Lucian J. Hudson.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story! 

A: I am from Bangkok, Thailand! The country that has been portrayed on the media as one of the best to-go places in the world. However, the internal affairs of the country are more depressing than what the outside world sees. The country has an increasing amount of tension between the elite-wielding authorities and the emerging generations of 'liberals'.

It has become a complex interplay in the country political affairs of the influencers in the country, but those who suffer the most are the Thai citizen who are most dependent on the development of the country. I am a Thai-born Taiwanese, raised in Thailand, Taiwan, and the UK, respectively. Hence, I would consider myself fortunate to have seen the two sides of the world, where freedom of speech and expression are limited, and where they are welcome (even encouraged).

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: I believe the world is currently progressing at an incredible speed. The advancement in the medical, scientific, social, and humanity aspects is accelerated at every moment. It is truly a joyful time to be alive. The media, on the other hand, has painted the world as if it is heading towards its downfall. In combination with the 'slight' economic downfall, and incidents on global power struggle, have impacted the general population significantly. However, considering the past 500 years where the world has been trailed with darker histories, I would daresay we have come out far ahead. The better world is where individual empowerment is at its peak. Everyone, assuming all have enough information (education), is encouraged to express their true potential!

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: Social norms are interesting aspects of the community which both promote and hinder the progression of a society. Living in Thailand for more than half of my life, there are 'pre-determined', unspoken rules to be followed, no matter how bizarre they may seem (such as the ability to criticize the work of the government, or speaking of the King in an ill manner).

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: I would say I have been more fortunate than other young adults of my age to have good support and education. The major concern I have experienced is the challenge to adopt a mindset to filter what has come through in life; what is most important at the time, what is most important in the future.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: Everyone has potential to contribute back to the society, to make it a better place. However, the challenge is to find it, locate it, and bring it out. I strongly believe that, with a mentor as a role model and catalyst, one can bring out the passion more effectively.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: I would like to quote from Winston Churchill that I have come to understand it dearly, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life". People nowadays fear of being rejected and hated. They would try to please everyone, but themselves. That is a mindset that needs to change.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: Mr Vichitpol Pholpok, the Founder and CEO of Teach for Thailand. He has embodies what it means to work for the people, to make a sustainable and long-term impact to the society in an area where there is a few hope, education.

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: Again, I would use the same quote I mentioned earlier from Winston Churchill that has guided me through life; "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life".