An ancient past filled with struggles and triumphs
Throughout the history of several thousand years, our economy has been mainly based on agriculture. Over 90% of food sources come from rice. Productivity, output based on area, labor and population are quite low. Food sources from natural or livestock are also very modest. It means that the minimum material needs of our people are not fully met.
In terms of products from industry or added value from trade with other countries, we have few options. We are still basically a subsistence agricultural and handicraft economy. Natural resources and the ability of exploitation to turn into economic resources are also limited. Compared to other peoples and countries at the same time in history, we are always below average on the world and continent level. Archeology and other studies show that, when other civilization centers had many cities, citadels, products made from gold, silver, diamonds, precious materials of more than 3000 years ago, we only rudimentary objects, low-value materials, lack of concentration.
In the feudal times, in the North, the rich only had a few jars of fish sauce, a jar of salted eggplant and a granary that was enough for a few people in one or two crops. In modern times, there are more copper trays, copper pots, worshiping objects and most luxurious mahogany, tea cabinets. That is, some household items, on display. Famine is always lurking, covering all human life, lingering in history, remaining in stories, books, poetry, chants, etc.
In terms of infrastructure, we do not have a large-scale industry. Vietnam's Irrigation and transportation systems leave more to be desired. Due to many factors, creativity in economic development is limited. Rice farming is the mainstay, basically buffaloes, plows, mills, mills, mills, gradually, sieves…
The Vietnamese mentality in folk songs is clearly expressed as "far from the forest, afraid of the sea". The distribution of benefits is based on the Eastern feudal social structure, so it is very unfair. The feudal system disintegrated, our people entered the period of domination, then the fierce war caused hunger, poverty, backwardness...
Happiness only comes through a lot of unhappiness
Prosperity and happiness are two different concepts. Happiness is a concept that refers to the mental state of each person, of a community that blooms when they achieve a certain expectation. The expectation of prosperity in terms of facilities and health is of course a fundamental expectation, but it is not everything. People have other expectations to achieve such as: understanding, respect, dedication, creativity and freedom. Every ladder reached is every happiness.
One of them is when that society satisfies the highest common spiritual needs of that time. In this sense, our people have lived happily many times. It was after the resistance wars of the national defense, victory over the enemy, regained the country. It is happiness to be acknowledged, respected. But these happiness must be exchanged with a lot of blood and tears. The price of that happiness is too expensive, but it can't be helped. After those days is the dream of a hundred families of peace. Peace is essentially the peace of the land, the vast equality for the whole society. And after the arduous and lost resistance wars, the court often "relented to the people", exempted tax collection, repaired pagodas and temples, held festivals, etc. After that, the operating mechanism and inherent living conditions were restored to bring life back to its original state. That is, people tighten their belts, eat well to save and "watch the sky, look at the sky and look at the clouds" to give favorable rain and wind...
Happiness is in the sense of being successfully created and creating, generating wealth, enjoying fair income and enjoyment… it's never been possible.
Desperate to commit to future
The great poet Nguyen Du wrote in Tales of Kieu « Is it true if suffering to commit to the future? » when discussing the transition from hardship to happiness. We can infer from this idea to reflect on the development process of our nation.
Why has our nation never had prosperity; and happiness only comes when suffering too much loss and suffering? The first is about natural conditions. Our country is a tropical monsoon region that is very harsh. Hot sun, heavy rain, and low humidity are not favorable for the development of many species of plants and animals. According to research work, we have many species but the individuals are few and small. However, with that condition, insects, germs, bacteria are more harmful, toxic and disease-causing than other places... Short, steep terrain is easy to cause flooding, less soil nutrients are created. The delta is fragmented, not favorable for large-scale agricultural development. There are no vast plains and grasslands for large farming or large livestock rearing. If there is no large production, the thinking to do big, the capacity for community cooperation is large, and the accumulation of large resources is also very limited. Dangerous mountains, difficult traffic...
Second, in terms of geopolitics, we are in a prime location, often with foreign enemies trespassing. War is always a tragic song of the country's history. From a life of always struggling, always facing challenges, our people's wish is only to have enough rice, warm clothes and peace. But even those things are rarely achieved so it is always a wish. In such living conditions, the ability to accumulate wealth, the desire to rise up, expand trade, creativity and the need to enjoy are not much in the national consciousness. With our nation's unique qualities of independence, patriotism and indomitable spirit, we are a small nation, but we can protect our territory, sovereignty and culture before all. great enemies. Many ethnic groups are similar to us in terms of natural conditions and development level, but when they fight against foreign invaders, they have to make sacrifices, giving up a lot of their independence and self-control. Territory can be occupied, divided. There are even ethnic groups that do not have a country name anymore.
Therefore, the greatest value for a people is independence, for us, it remains intact. If we can protect that value, we have to sacrifice, arduous, backward... which is understandable.
Family: A place to nurture happiness
So let's start with everyday issues, which is family culture. In our culture, family is everything
A modern family desiring happiness needs to strive for a number of criteria. They are: economically well-off; members with educational qualifications and regularly studying and improving in accordance with their conditions; Family members must respect each other according to their rank and bloodline. It is a precious culture that the ancients put as the core of morality and family etiquette. Next, the family needs to have conventions and activities about common activities as well as conventions of interaction in family relationships. There, in addition to enjoying the union, they also understand each other, coordinate, support and solve and solve problems that arise… Such families will be the middle class of society. Today's civilized society is evaluated through the development of this class. The larger the middle class, the richer the middle class, the higher the culture, the less social distance, the higher the social ground.
Currently, social culture with aesthetic values is being degraded, eroded, deviated, stretched... for many reasons. Therefore, the family culture, which is very sustainable and good in Vietnam, is also seriously affected. The prevalence of foreign culture, which is mainly of its flip side; an increase in the pace of life; the explosion of means of cultural and spiritual living; the downside of the market economy and consumption; The trend of urbanization… is preventing young people from enjoying the values of traditional family culture. And cyberspace too, in the many benefits of the internet, it is not difficult for us to realize, it is also hitting the foundation of family ethics and social ethics in many different cultures. Unthinkable family tragedies have come from the illusion of getting rich through multi-level transformations, through gambling and betting, through the transformation of virtual currency investment. It's saddening.
But in the current Covid-19 pandemic, in the most critical places in the world as well as in the most critical places in Vietnam, every person sees the highest value of family warmth, affection and affection. all the happiness of giving. Authorities and socio-political organizations need to have timely and appropriate strategies to preserve and promote family culture.
Vietnamese Version: Nhà Nước phải đi cùng nhân dân
Photo: Tao Dat, Ngoc Diep
Text Graphic: Thuy Hang