Sufficiency Economy of Our Father

“…When I mentioned sufficient economy, a it means living that is moderate to one’s means. Starting from 200 to 300 THB to reach 20,000 THB, or 30,000 THB. People always take my words of sufficiency economy and then tell with misunderstanding. Sufficiency economy of executing self-sufficiency is not the right meaning and it is not the concept that I have in mind. The concept I wish to convey is Self-Sufficiency of Economy, such as if they wish to watch TV, there shall be some for them to watch. Not to limit their chances of buying TV for the watching. If the concept is sufficiency, having TV is sheer luxury by such concept. To the same degree as when someone does not have money to buy a tailor-made suit but still wear a Versace necktie. That may be too much…”

Royal words from His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Piumsuk Villa, the Klai Kangwon Palace, Hua Hin on 17th January 2001.

“Self-Sufficiency of Economy” was exploited as a tool for rationalization in several politics events and misunderstood for a long time. If truth be told, this word of wisdom were spoken by a gentleman with his determination to call for senses of his very own sons and daughters, whether we are lost our ways. We could have our chance to look back on every simple aspects of life around us before plunging for something excessive for our living. Maybe we might not need the second faster car or the third faster car. Maybe we might not need the brand-new smartphone fresh off the market while the one we already had is still working so well. So disappointed that it is, when many organizations and many persons are misunderstanding the concept of our father’s “Self-Sufficiency of Economy”, its economic effects have not performed at it best for our beloved Thailand as expected.


Speaking of moderation, some might be thinking of being frugal, stingy or parsimonious. The truth is, the moderation is the concept realized through regarding ourselves whether we are producing, consuming too few or too much, whether we are buying anything and having no plan to use it, whether we are preparing a meal in a portion so large we cannot finish, or buying a luxury bag that will be exposed only on one social setting. 

The moderation can be out in practice through elaborating in terms of production and consumption, based on resources on hands such as capital, time, and labor. When production output is more than consumption, the excessive portion will be the new surplus for the future growth, so moderation does not emphasize on being parsimonious at all. Eventually, this moderation means the moderation in consumption for the future sustainable growth, that is the meaning it should be.    


Any decision towards sufficiency shall be made based on the reasonableness, putting several factors into consideration and thoroughly elaborate possible consequences there might be when a particular action were taken. Significant difference do exist among each individual’s self-sufficiency because one have their own structure of life, to be named, family size or social obligation, so there became the question of whether the sufficiency we are practicing is the true sufficiency. The answer to the question is the reasonableness. Digested into plain idea, it is “Think before producing”, “Think before consumption” or “Why do we have to produce in this amount?” With same concept, we can apply to our working life, when we start questioning ourselves “Why do we have to work like this?” (Of course, that is the product of our investment in labor and time.) 

With an investment of an hour from your live, are results worth our invested efforts (Outcome)? In terms of consumption, are there any logical reasons for our consumption in this amount? Even, “Does our consumption in this amount causes any unnecessary waste?” or “Can we consume in this amount under a particular environment?”

“Risk Management”

Risk managementis how we are putting together towards upcoming impacts or possible changes through deliberating possibilities of the coming future. A nowadays world is shifting beyond with high-speed pace, causing the shift of current environment apart from what it was in the past. Even the Lord of Buddha who saw into the importance of this heedful mindfulness into his last words of wisdom before his departure towards his disciples.

The risk management in discussion means our preparedness against upcoming impacts or changes in the future, such as “Are we still what we are today in the next few years?” and “Which threats may inflict harm upon our self-sufficiency capability?” Being sufficient does not mean to stay still. While our two hands are working, always stay alert and stay open for streaming information as the preparedness for whatever may happen, good or bad.       

To maintain our self-sufficiency, there are two conditions as following:           

Knowledge: comprising all-round knowledge in the relevant fields and prudence in bringing this knowledge into consideration to understand the relationship among the field so as to use them to aid in the planning and ensure carefulness in the operation.

Virtue: that is to be promoted, comprising the awareness of honesty, patience, perseverance, and intelligence in leading one’s life.

(The Chaipattana Association, 2016)

Look upon our lives as we are working every day. The time we invested in working is a cycle of life bringing all of us steps closer to our future individual goal, no matter it is.

Look back into the wisdom of our Royal Highness, here we are sitting in the center of a microscopic cycler. The concept of the self-sufficiency will lead us to the stable growth. The fruit of this wisdom might be surprisingly less ostentatious, making it a metaphor for a fruitful tree without overwhelming it with fertilizers. On every step we are walking ahead with such steady growth, we are contributing the strength of local economy to our society that truly push our economy forward in the macroscopic scale.  


The Chaipattana Foundation. “Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy.” The Chaipattana Foundation., 6th December 2016 Accessed.