During my school days, the kind of respect we had for our teachers never changed even when they lashed us mercilessly. We did not have value-education classes but we knew our boundaries well. We have been culturally groomed to believe that teachers are like our parents and that we must respect them as much as we respect our parents. We have been convinced that we would earn respect if we know how to show respect to our elders and treat them with love and dignity. But sadly, this trend seems to be taking a different turn today. Probably due to the excessive exposure to western cultures through social and mainstream media outlets that have emerged with the technological revolution of the modern era, the youth of Bhutan appear to be gradually drifting away from the unique social and cultural values of our country that define us as Bhutanese. This rapid decline of values among the Bhutanese youth has triggered important discussions in the government agencies in the recent times. Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty the King, the Ministry of Education has already started working with the Royal Education Council (REC) to explore effective ways of inculcating our own national values into the young generation. The first draft of the curriculum framework for teaching values developed by REC was presented during the special meeting convened on 19th June 2017.
I am really shocked to hear that what could be possible only in the movies and fictions has become a reality in Sibsoo today. A couple of hours ago, an old man from my wife’s village sadly passed away in Sibsoo hospital, but what was more painful than the death itself for him was the betrayal from his own son. According to my wife who is currently in her village, his story goes like this:
As a Buddhist nation sequestered by time and tradition for centuries, Bhutan has long been considered the Adobe of Gods mainly because of the spectacular beauty of its natural landscape interwoven with our unique socio-cultural identity. Tucked in the bosom of Himalayas, Bhutan has been blest with everlasting peace, harmony and stability. Having been groomed as a peace-loving nation in self-imposed isolation for ages, we take special pride in our rich and unique cultural and social values. But with the advent of cheaper mobile phones and cameras over the recent years, some Bhutanese today have begun to venture out on a new journey that can potentially ruin those values in the longrun.
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It has been now almost eight years since I first became a father and I have fully enjoyed being with my kids as any other parent would do. However, I have realized the benefits of observing kids while being with them. There are a lot of important lessons we can learn from them. We always believe that our responsibility as parents is to teach our kids values and good behaviours but I feel there are many things we can learn from them too.
Last week while reading a 1999 issue of Reader’s Digest, I came across an article that renewed my energy to strive for a more meaningful life. The article titled, “How to be true to yourself” contributed by Denis Waitley shows simple steps to leading a life of principle and purpose. The author talks about what he calls The Integrity Triad, the three key principles that can really contribute to the quality of life.