When I visited Phnom Penh for the second time last year, I met some people who told me the stories about this country. Tuk-tuk driver, Indonesian workers, foreign travellers, all of them said that thay are very pessimistic about the future of this beautiful country. The corrupt government, the uncontrolled foreign investment, the loss of their native culture, the dark memory about the past history, and many many problems they had to face. They told me that it was like facing a huge time bomb that ready to explode soon.
I felt very sad because I don’t want to see this beautiful country turning into a bloody country anymore. After a very long period of civil war, Cambodia is now in a stable condition. But some people say, what you see does not reflect the true reality.
But these monks change my mind….
It was a cloudy Sunday evening when I met them in front of the Royal Palace. I talked with one of them. His name is Bobo, a samanera from one Buddhist monastery near Wat Ounalom. He is still young, only 18 years old. He is studying Buddhism and also English language. We talk about many things, and he impressed me because he is very optimistic about the future of his country.
He is one of many young generation in Cambodia who were born in the state of peace. Perhaps his optimism is because he never face a bleak history of Cambodia and because he had never been involved (and will never involve) in politics. But, whatever the reason, I remain convinced that his small optimism can be contagious, and it will be a good start to bring a better Cambodia.
So, when I read this week’s challenge is about optimistic, my thought came to Bobo and his friends. I hope they can always keep the good optimism in their mind.
Let’s pray for Cambodia..
“Choose to be Optimistic, it feels better.” (Dalai Lama XIV).