Yet another wake-up call

Truth is said to be the oldest of all virtues; the bed rock of greatness and a powerful asset. We also talk about wisdom, which many say is the application of knowledge at the right time. It is a potent treasure. Compassion is another virtue espoused as the lotus in the pond. We then have words, churned in the cauldron of energy and power, which can heal and harm.

Today, we witnessed all the above and more, converge and blend in His Majesty’s address during the opening session of the Third Parliament’s Eight Session. Truth was articulated mixed with compassion, and wisdom exhibited. Words only the world’s best wordsmiths can chisel were heard. The combinations of the above reached every nook and corner of the country. Emotions were evoked and self-reflections and contemplations began.

The story of Karma Dechen, with which His Majesty began addressing the nation is truth in its purest form; the fact that we have erred somewhere along the road of development, leading to issues that we currently confront and the emergence of the likes of problems Karma Dechen is plagued with. And the concerns are mammoth for a country our size, which still depend on donors for capital investments.

Another truth is that we have basked for long as an extraordinary country. But as said by His Majesty, if we are an extraordinary country, the works that we do should also be extraordinary. And finding such a work done would almost be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

His Majesty also highlighted several aspects of truth that is bitter – low productivity, low technological innovation, high operational costs, lack of accountability and others. His Majesty also cautioned that we are at the inflection point.

However, we witnessed another virtue that is synonymous with His Majesty – compassion. Notwithstanding the challenges we confront, His Majesty expressed faith in us, his subjects, the people of Bhutan and their abilities. Within the sacred hall of the National Assembly, His Majesty thanked everyone for rising up when the nation needed them, especially during the pandemic.

Speaking about the transformation, His Majesty said that though results are already visible, yet this is not enough. “We must raise the bar.” Discipline, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness should be augmented. The way we work should change, for today’s tools cannot be used tomorrow.

Another truth mentioned concerned what most of us always say – “what will I get?” We should instead be asking, “What will I not get?” A little unconditional commitment from everyone of us can reduce the number of people who are in the same shoes like Karma Dechen. We can secure the futures of ourselves and our children. We will not need to beg for support. We can proudly say that we are an extraordinary country. And of all, we can lighten the concerns of His Majesty, our beloved King.

What more do we need?