Giving back 'a key' to meaningful lives

Speakers at TEDxKlongToei take a group photo at the forum in Bangkok. TEDx is a programme of local, self-organised events that brings people together to share experiences. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Contributing to local communities -- rather than endlessly pursuing wealth and fame -- will make our lives more meaningful and happier, a discussion was told on Sunday.

The discussion, held at Southeast Asian Centre (SEAC) as part of a TEDxKlongToei event, was geared towards providing a platform for participants to share their inspiring life stories.

Rossukhon Kusombut, chief executive officer of White Rabbit Management Co Ltd, told the forum that as a businesswoman, she struggled to maintain a balanced life and the stress from her work made it hard for her to conceive a child.

"My doctor told me this every time when he took my pulse, but I didn't take his words seriously because in hindsight, I must have been used to it."

Ms Rossukhon then turned to Buddhism and met Woraphat Phucharoen, the founder of Bojjhanga Archery Club who introduced her to the concept of the "targetless" target.

"I shot thousands of arrows and still didn't understand what it meant," she said.

However, when Ms Rossukhon became more mindful of her life goals, she managed to hit the bull's eye.

"I discovered the key to shooting a target is to focus on being here and now [inside], not 'there' with the target," she said.

"I felt a sense of relief I had never felt before. Suddenly, I realised that I had been pursuing a false goal to satisfy my own ego. The true goal lies inside. Since then, I have shown more sympathy and wanted to help other people," she said.

Ms Rossukhon said when she freed herself from all expectations, she miraculously gave birth to her first child. Now, she is committed to passing on her method to youth in the digital age.

"They want to be successful as fast as possible, without realising the price they have to pay. Mindful archery will allow them to see themselves and others more clearly and live more meaningful lives," she said.

Siriporn Pomwong, the head of the Music Sharing project, said she has wanted to help people in need since she was young.

"Teaching music to kids in the Klong Toei slum fulfills my dream because I can help improve their livelihoods. Once, I met one student who displayed violent tendencies, but I learned that his family background is to blame.

"His mother was a drug addict and prostitute. Even as he dispruted my class, I treated him with love until he admitted that he didn't know how to correct his attitude," she said. "I felt pushed to do what I did because I realised, no one else is going to help him."