Posted by: John Elliott | December 24, 2009

A Christmas message from the King of Bhutan

“The image of a shared planet must always be present in our minds – and especially in the minds of those who are in positions of leadership.    

“Only when we are willing to bear the embarrassment of being a little innocent will we be able to say – ‘Let us place the interest of humanity, not national populations and constituencies, above all else’ “……….    

novice monks in Bhutan

   ………….King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck hadn’t of course intended it to be a Christmas message when he spoke in Delhi last night   

This 28-year old Buddhist monarch was explaining the “development with values” goals of Gross National Happiness (GNH) that were set some 30 or so years ago by his father, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.    

The then king’s aim was to try to keep the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which is sandwiched between China and India, as a peaceful, harmonious and independent nation – as he explained to me when I interviewed him 22 years ago.    

But it is a good message for Christmas from the King, who has been on a visit to India, and was giving a lecture titled “Changing World and Timeless Values” in memory of Madhavrao Scindia, a former Congress party leader.    

Bhutan's King looking at one of his photos yesterday

Earlier yesterday he opened an exhibition (left) of photos from Bhutan, many taken by him, including those above and below.    

In a neat turn of phrase coming just after the Copenhagen climate change summit, he added: “We need shared human endeavour not just negotiated change”.
 
“I believe that any real and lasting solution to global issues can only come through a universal wave of human empathy, desire and passion for the common good,” he said.   

“Governments might mediate problems at the global level, but its effects are felt by people, like you and me…….we tend to forget that in protecting our own constituencies, we jeopardize the world and thus ourselves and our own future generations…….Let us place the interest of humanity, not national populations and constituencies, above all else. Let us take political risks and strong decisions in addressing the needs of humanity.”  

 Merry Christmas! – John      

  

Buddhist prayer flags in Bhutan

Dec 26 – I have edited some of  the quotations above to bring them in line with the text of the King’s speech which is on Facbook  at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=853040356&ref=ts#/notes.php?id=43817623259 - je  

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Responses

  1. [...] Source Articles by John ElliottGNH, King, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckPermalink ← Coronation Address to the Nation, 7 November 2008 [...]

  2. A fitting quote to welcome another new decade in this millienium. thank you for this, john. a warm thought to keep the coldness of politics at bay even for just a day.

  3. It is an amazing thing to have someone in a position of such responsibility and authority promote such positive and heartfelt values.

    Could he be a figure like the Dalai Lama – promoting, peace, love and happiness to the world, but without the political complications?

  4. THERE SHOULD BE MORE LEADERS WITH LOTS OF BLESSED WISDOM LIKE KING JIGME KHESAR NAMGYAL, RULING THEIR COUNTRIES. SO THAT THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN, WILL BE PEACEFUL AND CLEAN. WELL SAID MY DEAR KING OF PEACE.
    Also thanks for the good read Mr.John Elliott, as I have always enjoyed reading your blogs!
    Some good reads for you, about another part of this world…http://www.singazine.com/

  5. merry christmas and a very happy new year to you,mr.elliott. though i rarely send in comments,i really look forward to your posts and thoroughly enjoy reading them.hope you will keep writing for many many more years.

  6. The message from the young King is so sincere and touches your heart.

  7. I love this King. He seems to be a Dharmaraja, perhaps an emanation of Tri Song Det Sen.

  8. Good to hear. It is difficult not to love Bhutan and envy its thoughtful and attractive Royal Family. A Merry Christmas and Happy 2010 to you and all your readers, John.

  9. We thoroughly enjoyed King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck yesterday at the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Event. It was indeed refreshing and what he said was immensely important on ‘sense of values’ which is so important in today’s materialistic world: the importance he has given on human standards and the worth of individuals whether rich or poor. His Majesty will indeed have a lot of followers in our country.


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