The conflict begins with a mere thought of “us” against “them”. The two simple pronouns draw a dividing line between people that can eventually breed conflict. While some countries clash and fight to have certain things their ways, others go about it harmoniously and empathetically by understanding the strength of diversity.
How do they do it?
Even though there has been a fewer number of wars in the past 10 years, what remains and actually increases over time is the conflict among human relationship. Be it at a national level, in society, within an organization, or between people, this type of conflict has done more damage than imaginable.
Since 2016, many countries have found themselves amidst violent conflicts unseen in 30 years prior. The number of conflict-related fatalities has doubled, and this is the turning point for humanity, where it began to broaden its understanding of conflict, from getting to the root cause, studying its increasing rate, recurrences and ongoing state, to having a common goal of finding sustainable approaches to conflict prevention.
Many might think conflict arises when guns and violence are involved – when in fact conflict is much more easily provoked. Just think of the words “us” and “them”. These two simple pronouns carry depths beneath the surface that divide people and eventually breed conflict.
How “us and them” come into conflict
The conflict and violence can be caused by many factors and aspects such as
Do you know that there are more than 100 different ethnicities
living in Thailand and each of the group also carries unique or even individual language and culture?
But the fact is that they never have a chance to fully show or
represent their uniqueness in identity, causing the lack of
exposure, understanding, and respecting of different culture
and background from both insiders and outsiders, which is one
of the main challenge of preventing violence and sustaining
Is there any way we can make more space for each of us to
show our own self and cultivate the culture of embracing
diversity with an innovative, peaceful, and in respect of human-
2. Resource Distribution
Do you know that 90% of all the properties in Thailand are
owned by wealthy people, which is only 10% of the
populations? Moreover, among those 90%, there are more than
18 million Acres of abandoned and unused properties, while
60% of farmers still have no land to plant for their business.
(Reference : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZy1nIcMvX8 )
This is only part of the problems caused by unequal access
and distribution of resources, which also results in the
inequality of economic opportunity.
Unequal access to infrastructure and education are also other
samples that leave a huge impact on this disparity.
What could be the solution for this challenge of resource
Is it possible to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor,
or to reduce inequality and create more opportunities for
everyone equally and inclusively?
3. Political Participation
Nowadays, Thai people have much more awareness of politics
and enthusiastically participate in political activities, as shown
in the statistic that 74.69% of the populations who has the
rights to vote did participate in the latest election in March
However, differences in opinion of politics is still a controversial
topic when it comes to a discussion between family and
Isn’t politics something we can talk about without conflicts or
violence? Is it possible for us to learn to respect other people
opinions even though they are different from our own? Is it too
difficult to believe in rule of majority while not leaving the
minority behind? Can we argue for the better?
Only by us daring to voice our thoughts with an understanding
and respecting of others, politics will be the topics of
development, not violence.
Do you know that differences between each school can affect
educational disparities for as high as 47% ?
Have you ever wondered why some parents need to find the
best and well-known school for their children when, actually,
schools are supposed to have the same quality?
Inequality in access to education is still one of the biggest
challenges in Thailand. The designing of curriculum or teaching
quality should prepare, make ready, and support students in
higher-education and their future career, especially for the
poor, the marginalized, the disadvantaged, and the vulnerable.
Apart from building more schools, hiring more teachers, and
developing the syllabus, are there any solutions that could
solve educational inequality that has been a part of Thai
society for ages?
5. Belief and Religion
Our World consists of people from many different backgrounds
with different religions and beliefs, or even without religions at
all. For this, Thailand is no different.
Sometimes, ‘Differences’ causes us the misunderstanding and prejudgement before we even have a chance to discuss or talk to those who doesn’t believe in the same thing as us.
How might we create a society that is willing to embrace
differences in religions and beliefs without violence involved?
6. Access to Justice and Rule of Law
Does rule of law really ‘fair’ for everyone?
‘Double standard’ seems to be a question that frequently
asked in Thai legal process. It unquestionably creates a doubt
injustice and a loss of trust and respect in rule of law.
Many times, unequal treatment of law enforcement and the
litigation process makes us believe more in money and power
as reflected in the sentence 'Prisons are only made for the
poor, not for the rich' said by many people. It has always been
the case since long before that if you have power or you are
'someone' in this society, you automatically get acquitted.
How might we create inclusive and equal access to justice and rule of law for all?
SO HOW DO WE LIVE PEACEFULLY AMIDST DIVERSITY?
*from article BECAUSE “US” AND “THEM” ARE THE SAME, Thailand Social Innovation Platform
We are looking for potential ideas which can be further developed and implemented to a long-term innovation that contribute to creating an inclusive society where everyone "Respect Differences and Embrace Diversity!"
Recommended Reading List (Frequently updated):
1. Article "Because Us and Them are the Same" -
2. Pathway for Peace Report - https://www.pathwaysforpeace.org/
3. Case Study 'Cure Violence' -