Grounding our youth in reality

Charles Darwin is often accredited with the quote ‘survival of the fittest,’ but Darwin himself attributed the original  quote to another author.

This quote used by Darwin has been misunderstood to mean that only the strongest and fiercest animals survived.

However, a central theme of Darwin’s ‘Theory of Evolution,’ actually shows that the animals who survived and thrived the best through millions of years are those that adapted to change well.

Most Bhutanese youth of today, right from home and classrooms, have defined success in life as a government job and pretty much nothing else. When that expectation is not met, as it will not be in most cases, there is frustration, confusion and anger.

An analogy here would be a deer caught in headlights not knowing whether to move front or back to save itself.

The continuing success of the US economy is today largely built on the brain power and enterprise of its people outside the government. A good example would the tech sector in silicon valley and companies like Apple, Facebook, Google etc.

An important quality of American education and society is that, from a young age, the children are taught to think for themselves, to be independent and most importantly to be able to adapt to a variety of situations.

In our current set up Bhutan is producing mostly well behaved but soft spoken youth lacking in confidence, imagination and a drive to excel in other fields outside a 9 to 5 government job.

Bhutan is headed for trouble if the school students of today are all aspiring civil servants, in both ambition and thought.

Be it at home, in the society or in the classroom it is important to encourage our youth to think of other sectors outside just government jobs and to be enterprising and adaptable to different challenges and situations.

The focus should shift from just getting good marks and behaving well to thinking outside the box.

The jobs of today and the future are not going to be kind to civil service aspirants. It is incumbent that youth are better equipped from today itself, and everyone from parents and teachers to the government and private sector have a role to play.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” 

 Leon C. Megginson

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