About the Humility of the Sons of…

A general view shows Cambodian scouts waving bouquets as balloons fly near Independence Monument during a ceremony marking Independence Day in Phnom Penh on November 9, 2015. Photo by TANG CHHIN Sothy / AFP

As the next general elections and, as a result, the government renewal are approaching, everyone is playing at predicting “who will leave,” “who will be in,” who will be where.”

To get one’s bearings in this torrent of rumors with the source of each one claiming to have been told by a “reliable source”—meaning directly from “above”—two major trends can provide a point of reference: leaving will be, after two, if not three, decades of government service, most of the “Great Old Ones,” and making their entrance will be many children of the previous ones. 

Regarding the latter, it would no doubt be useful to remind them of the virtue of humility.

Here or elsewhere, many of those who have “succeeded”—if we consider power and wealth the leading indicators of success—proclaim that this is due to their own talent. They would have done it on their own, due to their intelligence and through sheer hard work. The publishing industry is saturated with self-help books that endlessly repeat this idea, or rather this mantra: Your success is up to you.

The fact remains that, in most cases, the said success is more based on a context than on an “innate” talent. For instance, one has more chance of “success” if the family environment in which a person grew up made it possible to get an education that, even if not brilliant, will enable him get into a power network. This is what is called the reproduction of elites—a system in which intelligence and talent don’t constitute key elements of the selection criteria.

Haven’t you come across individuals here who, with an inflated sense of self-importance, claimed to be business geniuses and high-flying entrepreneurs while in fact they only are small-scale speculators, having built their careers comfortably sitting on their family’s fortune, which was not necessarily built through talent and creativity.  

Those who will be at the country's helm due to parentage have, as long as they are not really doing it on their own merits, everything to prove. We would be grateful if they were taking on their new duties with humility. This would make their own talents shine even more, as long as they have any.   

Related Articles