In recent weeks, we have witnessed Nature raging fast and furious. A spate of disasters have occurred in the country’s southern belt – bridges have collapsed, settlements and shops were washed away, highways and entire villages have been cut off due to blockades, and river banks are inundated.
All this has caused two responses.
First, we have seen suffering: people have had to bear the brunt of loss of communication, properties and possible danger to lives. These incidences have shown us primal fear, panic and the instinct to survive. It is understandable. Every one of us is human, with a heart that is inclined towards better, prosperous days. We can only imagine what the victims of the natural disasters are going through. Every moment must seem a nightmare at the moment. The least we can do is empathize and lend support whenever and wherever possible.
Second, the human ability to empathize can rise to heroic heights.
We have seen His Majesty leading from the front lines of the disaster. This is the leader we have always seen – strong, courageous, selfless and always present for his people. The Prime Minister, ministers, and army personnel, officials, Desuups and volunteers, have accompanied His Majesty as well. We have seen common men joining hands and volunteering at this time of deep need.
In this hour of calamity, we have seen commendable deeds and actions. Even as public sympathy pours in on social media for those suffering, some people with big, brave hearts contributed labor and resources to mitigate the floods and help those in need.
While nationalistic jingoism is a malady, Bhutan has once again shown that the nation is not only a nation in name – it is made up of people with hearts that are beating with compassion and love for each other. We have joined forces to beat the odds and this has resulted in great works of sacrifice and service.
Painting a romantic picture of tragedies is a norm in this day and age. But with stalwart leaders like ours and combined forces, it does seem right to say, that if we continue in the same spirit, our country is going to overcome lots of hurdles and barriers, even in the future and go a long, long way.
In fact, it is during rough times, that we should come together. That’s the test of true fellowship, solidarity and national identity.
We are known as a GNH-nation. Are we? What defines happiness? For someone, it could mean something as simple as three square meals a day while for others it could be defined in terms of materialistic luxuries.
Yet still for others, it could mean love, friendship, support, solidarity, help, understanding, friendship and loyalty.
Right now, in the context of the situation, Bhutan’s happiness is a King who cares for his subjects and citizens who are concerned about each other’s wellbeing.
Sometimes, we just need to have an innate appreciation for life to be happy, and witnessing acts of heroism and compassion in the face of calamity is another reason to smile.
Here’s to all those heroes who made it happen!