Small Society Syndrome

When the nation is in the midst of so many changes, it is important to do some soul searching of our weaknesses.

While much has been made about how we are a small society where everybody knows everybody we need to see its other side.

We have become like the small towns of USA where youths cannot wait to get out once they graduate to make a life for themselves in the big city given the lack of opportunities and other drawbacks.

We are small not only in terms of our size, but also in our thinking. There is not much curiosity about the bigger world and we are happy in our geographical isolation which has become an isolation of the mind too.

There is a lot of pride in just being born in and residing in Bhutan, and a sense of almost achievement in following traditions and customs, but is that really enough for nation building.

As a small society we do not do ‘different’ well and even in our own small circles of villages and social life people who are different or do not fit in are ostracized.

We are so convinced of the superiority of our way of life and values and we keep confirming this so much to each other that when change comes it treated as a hostile enemy.

We do not do change well as we are so set in our ways that anything different, even if it is better, is not welcome.

We are a jealous and an envious bunch. While the two emotions is common across the world, it is an especially acute problem in Bhutan.

It is said that familiarity breeds contempt and so we maybe so familiar with each other that it is difficult to stomach others doing better, having better qualities and getting ahead.

Because we are a small society and reputations stick we hate to admit our mistakes and will go to any lengths to hide them and this is where ego comes in. This is also why we are poor losers.

As a small society we know too much about each other or assume to know, and so gossip and rumor mongering is a national past time.

Instead of using our mind to create, take things forward and compete fairly we prefer to scheme a lot behind the scenes and take great joy in pulling each other down.

It maybe difficult, but it is important to look in the mirror sometimes and the answer may lie there.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Eleanor Roosevelt

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