Every year we celebrate the worth and passion of our young people because they are our future. We received from our elders this nation, small as it is, a trailblazer in its own right. That is our pride. We may have started late, but we go on to show the world the way in terms of how economic development should be pursued so that it is sustainable. So there are words such as these: sustainable development goals.

Even as we speak, though, there are thousands of young people loitering on the streets. We need to bring them back. Surely we have gone somewhere wrong. Why should our young people drift about beating each other up and breaking into homes? Sometimes, looking deep into our own soul is important.

When our young graduates come together to celebrate their success, it gives the nation reason to rejoice. But are we doing enough for them? Our young graduates may be qualified and capable, but if they are not given a space, how do we harness their capabilities and worth?

As His Majesty The King said at the 12th Convocation of the Royal University of Bhutan, our forebears have steered our country with great skill, intelligence, and a deep sense of responsibility, and have given us a peaceful, harmonious, and sovereign nation. This is a profound message. We need to prepare and shape our future.

As a small and landlocked country, we have greater role to play to secure our own grounds. We have come a long way, but be could better. Changing times will bring new challenges. How are our young people preparing themselves to be the guardians of peace and unity in our country?

There are a lot of things that we, as elders, need to do. Maybe we should do less talking and more walking. We talk about private sector development, which is key to generating thousands of job opportunities that could absorb our talented young individuals. When the talents and skills of our young people go in vain, it is the nation that has to cry.

Youth unemployment is a serious challenge facing the country today. We need to look at sustainable ways to employ our young graduates. As His Majesty The King told the graduates, we need to be SMART. That’s thinking our future.