My dear Kacvey,

On 14 May 2020, History Today published an article titled “The Angkor Empire’s National Health Service” under the signature of Joanna Wolfarth, a cultural historian, lecturer and writer.

The article mentioned two major quotes, both attributed to King Jayavarman VII, and translated from the historical inscriptions sculpted in various temples in the Bayon complex; they are so powerful in meaning that your students should reflect upon for their intellectual development and perspective:

1. “He suffered the illnesses of his subjects more than his own; because it is the pain of the public that is the pain of kings rather than their own pain.

2. “Filled with a deep sympathy for the good of the world, the king swore this oath: ‘All beings who are plunged in the ocean of existence, may I draw out by virtue of this good work. And may the kings of Cambodia who come after me, attached to goodness … attain with their wives, dignitaries and friends the place of deliverance where there is no more illness.

The power of history is so heavy that it breaks the bones and skull of the present.