Most New Year resolutions focus on some positive change in people’s lives, and while making these resolutions most people know that such changes can happen only from within.
So the question to ask is why it should be any different when it comes to the nation and our society.
Granted that the government, especially in a democratic set up, has some core responsibilities for which it is accountable.
However, the real truth of the matter is that the main difference between a developed country and a developing one is less the government and more the people.
People in advanced countries simply do not live in them, but they actually create it with their everyday behavior and attitudes.
We have civic agencies to clean our trash but it is incumbent on citizens not to litter. We can have government agencies and private owners painting and repainting buildings but it is the responsibility of citizens to not dirty them with doma spit or lime stains.
We can have the best economic planners and the best national budgets but it is ultimately up to each citizen to have their own financial plans and be smart about their savings and expenditure.
A national spending pattern based largely on taking loans for short term gains and unnecessary luxuries is not advisable.
There are many laws that emphasize national unity but it is ultimately down to ordinary people being able to cast aside petty differences to come together for the greater good.
It is the easiest thing to complain about the injustice of the system or rail against the inadequacies of our young democracy but our democracy cannot be a success without the active participation of enlightened citizens.
Nepotism is said to be a national challenge, but many Bhutanese will think nothing of calling up an interview panel to get their family and friends through.
Gender equality is a good concept but it cannot come about if both Bhutanese men and women do not change their attitudes to the very people around them.
The problem and solution like so many things in life lies within us. It is only a matter of seeing it and doing something about it.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw