And thus the nation was made. The space was there as nature gave it. It had to be peopled and thus humans came. The beacon hailed and we heeded. We animated vacant expanse and called it to life. A covenant was made. Destiny was sealed.
We found a way to organize our life and called it governance. Sovereignty, we discovered, was the soul of the land we defined as ours. And thus we made our nation: a covenant of space, people, governance and sovereignty. We claimed the sky that arched over us, the peaks that stood and the plains that spread. Flora and fauna, rivers and streams, mines and minerals were ours by right and responsibility.
The outlines were carved and the template formed. But the shaping of the nation took centuries. It took the prophecy of saints and sages and the genius of visionaries and leaders. It took the virtues of the land and merits of the people. The making of the nation took wars and battles, struggles and sacrifices, commitment and perseverance. Tensions had to be resolved, contradictions reconciled and priorities aligned.
The outer and the inner, the ideal and the real, the soul and the substance had to be harmonized. Institutions and instruments, codes and frameworks, policies and practices had to be in place. National themes and aspirations needed to be clarified. World-view had to be crystallized.
Centuries have rolled on. Generations have come and gone. But the task of nation-building continues. It continues in the sacred imperative of succeeding generations to preserve the soul of the nation and the sovereignty of the land. It carries on in the sublime urge of a people for solidarity and fellowship. The task of nation-building goes on as each generation cherishes the collective memories and shared experiences that bind them together as fellow-citizens.
The making of a nation is a sacred act of faith. It is a constant renewal of pledge. As much as my humanity comes from my belonging to the family of human beings, so my identity comes from my belonging to my nation. As much as I live in my nation, my nation lives in me. I live in its history, in its triumphs, in its struggles and its successes. I partake of its joy and its pains. I share in its dreams and its hopes. This is a very special relationship.
We may be in the frontline in battle-gear or shoulder big responsibilities. The making of the nation needs big deeds and small deeds. It needs clean minds and pure hearts. The making of the nation takes mouths that do not tell lies. It takes hands that do not steal. It takes healing where there are wounds and soothing where there are hurts. We build our nation on trust and goodwill, on friendship and brotherhood.
We build our nation on a daily basis – in the quality of our thoughts and the morality of our actions. Each time we think a good thought and do a good deed, to that extent, we advance the goodness of our nation. Each time we generate positive energy and expand opportunities for understanding and harmony, to that extent, we make our nation stronger.
As I am, so is my nation. The content and character of our nation will be the content and character of our Bhutanese people. We may not send a man to the moon or navigate outer space today, but like the old faithful, if we are upright and industrious, that will give us the invincible strength of the right and the good. The building of our nation takes the creative genius of all our peoples, the marvels of the Bhutanese mind and the skills of our hands.
The making of my nation takes place in shared memories and common dreams; it happens in communal thanksgiving and collective anticipation. The making of nation takes place through renewal and reassurance as was so evident, for instance, on November 11, 2015 when His Majesty the King paid our collective tributes to Drukgyal Zhipa and announced the anticipated arrival of our royal prince. My nation gained in strength and in hope at that supreme moment as the Bhutanese people cheered in joy and fulfillment.
At this supreme moment, as we celebrate the legacy of a monarch extraordinary and call up the finest resources of our being, may the Triple Gem shower their choicest blessings on His Majesty our Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to lead our country to ever greater heights of peace, prosperity and happiness for all the Bhutanese people for all times to come.
Today, we celebrate the visions of a leader who gave us his all and receive the blessings of a new gift for us to treasure. Today, we call up our best virtues to build the virtues of our land – in gratitude and in faith for the benedictions we have had, in trust and in hope for the joys we pray for.
Thakur S Powdyel.