“We must work hard, we must make our country stronger, more secure and richer year after year” said His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
His Royal Highness was addressing the 777 university graduates at the conclusion of the graduates orientation programme in Thimphu on Thursday.
His Royal Highness reminded the graduates that as they embarked on their future careers they must always bear in mind that the Bhutan of today was born out of the hard work and sacrifices of many generations of Bhutanese.
Even beyond this, it had taken immense hard work and the visionary leadership of His Majesty the King since 1972, to bring Bhutan from a period of great uncertainty to one of peace and prosperity. Today Bhutan is not only a strong and secure nation but one on the path to democracy. Such a country with strong foundations was now being handed over to the people.
“The time has come for us to think about our role and responsibilities and how we will fulfill them. If we fail, then the future generations of Bhutanese, while struggling to correct our mistakes, will not forgive us for squandering the immense potential and opportunities made possible by an enlightened King and the sacrifices of past generations of Bhutanese citizens,” said the Crown Prince.
His Royal Highness told the graduates that he could only tell them what the country needed from her youth, and it was up to them to live up to his expectations. “Creativity, innovation and enterprise – if these were manifested in the youth, then our own and the country’s future is secure.”
The Trongsa Penlop said that at important gatherings such as this, it was always best to be candid and frank. He said that past generations of Bhutanese, through their hard work and dedication, had ensured that everything was done for their youth.
This might have led to the culture of complacency especially in certain sections of the population. “Complacency is a weakness that many of us suffer from. Some of us expect to be rewarded just for showing up in office. This is not the way to serve the country. Serving the country is what the past generations of Bhutanese did by bringing a country out of medieval times into the modern era with so much success and yet preserving the Bhutanese way of life.”
The Crown Prince expressed his confidence in the youth and said, “I am confident that the younger generation will serve the country by not just showing up to work but working with innovation and dynamism; by not just doing business but creating new types of businesses and services; by not just saying they love the country but showing it in action and deed and; by not just speaking of Gross National happiness but showing how to implement it.”
To achieve this, the Crown Prince said, the youth must understand the reality of life. The reality is that they must always be prepared to compete and succeed through hard work and skills. He encouraged the youth to be ambitious and to work towards realising their ambitions. Wealth, spirituality or senior positions in government were all worthy ambitions as long as they were earned through hard work and excellence. “In Bhutan merit must be the key word,” said His Royal Highness.
“Bhutan today is a strong nation in the unprecedented process of pursuing democracy under a good King. It has a good government with a young educated population, people’s participation at all levels and the people love their country.” While these were immense achievements, the Trongsa Penlop said that we must look at them as strong foundations on which to build an even brighter future for Bhutan.
“Bhutan has no economic or military might, only a special asset – the people. As long as we are motivated and committed we will not only realise our own individual aspirations, but it is assured that Bhutan will achieve anything she aspires to.”
HRH congratulated the graduates and welcomed them as his own partners in serving the country and people.
This article appeared in Kuensel on the 16th of September 2006