The nation’s come together this day for a very special celebration. It is His Majesty’s 40th Birth Anniversary.

And, it is just the beginning. The celebration will continue until the end of 2020 because this year is also a very auspicious year.

 Schools are planning special programmes and, likewise, government offices and private business too are busy gearing up for this year-long celebration.

 This national celebration is special because we are rising yet again as a nation—we are witnessing the maturity of national vision.

 So this is a year of tribute. What do we offer our King and the nation?

 It’s a change of era we are witnessing this day. Bhutan has begun taking on its small shoulders the weight of the world. And, so, it is upon us to rise to the occasion. We are already a leader on many fronts but we also know we can do better.

 But then, a serious pratfall is never too distant a chance. How must we enter this new era in Bhutanese history?

 There ought to be songs and dances, of course. And there will be many dedication programmes. But we will not have lived up to the vision of the nation if we did not work hard enough to make them meaningful.

 So let us look and delved deep into the wise words of His Majesty The King: “As a developing country, we have limited resources. We must manage our available resources wisely, minimise waste, and ensure that all our resources are directed at improving the well-being of the people, and in fulfilling our national vision.”

 This is the real challenge facing the nation today. We are increasingly becoming a careless and wasteful society. We are a small nation and that is our strength but we are undermining it with unnecessary complications.  Public service, for example, is becoming a serious impediment to national development and progress. As His Majesty The King said, our greatest danger will come from their complacency and indifference.

Complacency and indifference is already the biggest implement to national progress today. Corruption is rising and this chain reaction is eating into the health of the nation. There are other pressing national problems to address, also born of these root causes—rising poverty and youth unemployment.

 It would not be right to say that the governments are failing the nation. The people too are equal partners in this grand failure.

The citizen’s true prayer this day should be to serve the nation each individually in their capacity. And that will take a leap of faith.

If we can do anything for the nation, it is this day. And so, as a true tribute, there is nothing better than beginning with following the advice of His Majesty The King.