A time to be grateful

We must always look forward and improve our standards to progress, but it is also important to sometimes look back and be grateful to not lose touch with our roots and to even learn lessons from the past.

On the 115th National Day it is a time to look back 115 years and see how far we have come.

At one level we can always do better going forward, but at another level we have achieved a lot as a nation and people under the visionary and wise leadership of our Kings.

Bhutan at the end of a day is a mainly mountainous and unforgiving terrain with a few valleys and gentler slopes that can be settled with limited arable land.

As a nation we did not have much resources and were in the middle of powerful neighbours.

It is here that the genius of the Kings of the Wangchuck Dynasty come into play.

In terms of their internal leadership not only where they strong enough to consolidate the nation together and see off challenges to its integrity and unity, but right from the First King’s time our Kings have demonstrated a uniquely Buddhist and Bhutanese quality to forgive, unite and move ahead for the greater good.

After the pivotal Battle of Changlimithang His Majesty The First King could have easily settled scores, but did not do so and united the nation under his rule.

It was this capacity for strength where necessary and mercy where required that has also defined the Wangchuck Dynasty. There is then of course the natural vision, wisdom and talent for governance that took Bhutan from strength to strength.

Our Kings have also demonstrated great genius on the foreign policy front too. Bhutan did not have a powerful army to defend its sovereignty, but here the pivotal moves of our Kings at the right time helped secure and strengthen Bhutanese sovereignty.

It is a testimony to the ability of our Kings that Bhutan has not only strengthened its sovereignty and identity with each passing National Day, but we have also made huge leaps when it comes to development.

Given our limited resources and our topography we may not be an economic powerhouse, but our social and health indicators are among the best for nations in our economic category.

There are also softer but very important aspects like preserving our environment, culture and maintaining peace and stability.

It is a time to remember and not only feel grateful, but also  be proud of what we have achieved under our Kings despite the tremendous odds.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy

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