“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’ “……….
………….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.
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
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