When I was in high school, I had a teacher who said that “hill people are lazy”.
Maybe he did not mean to say we did not work.
Maybe he meant the phrase for our attitude towards work.
For him, the social work in Bhutanese schools was unproductive work as students lacked dignity of labor.
As most philosophers have said, life is what we make of it.
And the Bhutanese youth with dreams of making it big in the world, driving Chevrolets (by the way do we have one in Bhutan? Enlighten me), and ordering others around while sitting crosslegged on cozy armchairs does not help.
At the moment, the government is into solving the unemployment problem but youth are still not willing to take up blue-collared jobs at hand.
The labor ministry has a goal to achieve unemployment rate of 2.5% or less by the end of the 10th Five Year Plan.
Today, it is providing youth many training courses which in other countries would be in great demand because they are provided free yet blue-collared jobs are avoided like the plague.
Every year a good number of youths join private training institutes while paying fees though government institutes are always under capacity and come with a monthly stipend even.
Our labor minister says there is only “Knowledge-based Job” and no blue or white collared jobs.
But reality is not a fairy tale. This is not the Garden of Eden where everything grows on trees.
Hard work is needed and for that we need to have a positive attitude and dignity of labor.
Our country is badly in need of skilled people especially in the automobile sector and construction industry. Today 90% of employees in these industries are expatriates. This indicates that either we have poor human resources or the Bhutanese are simply unwilling to fold up their cuffs and get to work.
Unemployment thus bred leads to various crimes, substance abuse, and youth-related violence.
In technical training institutes you have to show grit and determination. You have to manufacture and mould with your hands.
Some may have flashy cars or silver Macs but at least you have hands that can create.
Make good use of it.
It does not mean that youth who paint, break stones, saw timber or sweep the alleys are brainless.
They are wise enough to know that being employed is better than not being employed at all.
You have an option.