karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “June, 2015”

Book Review Title: The Life of Father William Mackey in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

Book Title: The Jesuit and The Dragon.
Author: Howard Solverson.
Publisher: Robert Davies Multimedia Publishing, US
Year of Publication: December, 1995.
Pages: 320

Published in 1995 by Robert Davies Multimedia Publishing, US and written in 320 pages, ‘The Jesuit and The Dragon’ by Howard Solverson tells the story of how a Jesuit priest met the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan in a humorous and simple reader friendly English. One will discover the earliest journey of the Late Father William Mackey into the Kingdom of Bhutan, his relationships with the people of Bhutan starting from the Royals down to the common people, his contribution in the field of introducing western education in Bhutan with English as the medium of instruction, and how the Jesuit Priest was honoured with the highest civilian award “The Heart Son of Bhutan” by His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1963 ultimately leading to The Late Father Mackey receiving the honorary Bhutanese citizenship in 1985.
The late father Mackey was instrumental in establishing Kanglung Public School which later became the country’s first high school and now the most well known Sherubtse College accredited with the Royal University of Bhutan.The author claims that The Late Father Mackey having spent three decades of his life in Bhutan never got involved in proselytization. In fact, The Late Father Mackey studied Buddhism to better understand his own faith.
Besides the life of the Late Father Mackey, The Jesuit and The Dragon provides a vivid account of how the education system in Bhutan developed under the leadership of His Majesty the Third King and His Majesty the Fourth King. One will also discover about the many prominent figures in the 1960s such as Babu Tashi, Babu Karchung, Lyonpo Tamji Jagar who played crucial roles in the development of education in the east in particular and across the country in general. On the lighter side, one will be amused to know about the three ‘guluphulus’ of the east- Father Guluphulu, Doctor Guluphulu and Drungpa Guluphulu and the mystery behind the nicknames so accorded.
Those of you who have studied in Trashigang, Kanglung and Khaling would relate more to the book and you may find that some of the notorious students mentioned the book could be you who very often received the famous ‘Lopen Shing’ from The Late Father Mackey.
From the way intricate details are put in the book, Howard Solverson has done extensive one to one talk with the Late Father Mackey and others who were closely associated with the Late Father. The book is recommended for all who are interested in the early history of Bhutan and the involvement of a Jesuit in the development of western education in Bhutan.

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Elected Leaders and Senior Bureaucrats should be held to higher Moral Standards

Morality, ethics, integrity, principle of goodness and principles based on honesty are some characteristics that should be associated with every citizens of the country and more so with the people who are elected leaders and senior bureaucrats.

One can make or break a country especially if one has the power to run the country or one has the authority to influence the decisions of the ones who run the country.

That is why it is so very important that elected leaders and senior government officials be held to higher moral standards compared to other citizens in the country. The fate and destiny of a nation can be shaped by these people who hold the important posts as parliamentarians and senior government officials.

Lack of morality can lead to so many problems and issues for the King, Country and People. Economic development of the nation will be affected if the important post holders and decision makes are immoral in their thoughts, act and conduct. Issues like gap between the haves and have-not will be widened. Unemployment issues of the youth will aggravate more. More of nepotism, favouritism, collusion, and other acts of corruption will be on the rise.

For instance, let’s take an example of a civil service. The core values of a civil service is to deliver its service efficiently. Now if the senior bureaucrats are on a rampant spree of favouritism, nepotism and collusion where by only the ones that they prefer are sent on foreign trips and are always treated with preferences over the ones who perform very well but are not in
the good books of the bosses, then this situation will definitely dishearten the ones who are good performers.

These group of people who are best at their tasks but do not know how to act like a sycophant to their bosses will end up being frustrated at their work and eventually end up a de-motivated person at work thereby losing his/her efficiency at work too.

So in such a case, who is ultimately at loss? It is the government who is losing out on personnel who can give so much and make a difference. It is the nation that is losing out on someone who could otherwise have contributed differently for the nation. It is the people who are losing out on someone who could have brought service to their door steps. The particular organization where the individual works will be affected too. And finally, it is the King to whom the senior bureaucrats have cheated on in their act of corruption and in their ill thoughts.The quote on leadership by His Majesty the King says everything about leadership in just one sentence. “What we need is not leaders who lead the masses, we need leadership of the self.”

For me this quote is saying that we need high moral standards to balance our thoughts, acts and conducts in the right manner. This in itself is leadership of self. As long as one has control and leadership of self one would be ready to lead the masses as well.

If I may take the readers through another example; you see if our elected leaders and senior bureaucrats lack morality then we face the risk of losing our independence as a nation. We never know how a man of ill morals will act especially at times when the nation might need them the most. Outside forces will take huge advantage of the country and its people if they come to know that the country’s elected leaders and senior bureaucrats lack high moral standards and ethics.

Our sovereign nation that has been passed down to its people by the generation of well serving Kings would be in jeopardy if its nation’s elected leaders and senior government officials are deficient in high moral standards.

Our His Majesty the King always says that, “Good is not good enough. We must Excel.” And I strongly feel that we can excel in exhibiting high moral standards in politics and even at delivering services as bureaucrats. I guess that is what His Majesty means when he says that he wishes to see, “intelligent, spiritual and brave citizens.” Citizens who excel in high moral
standards, citizens who are compassionate, caring and share loving kindness to each other and all sentient beings. Citizens, who value relationships, possess civic sense, develop love and care for public property, instill in oneself sense of belonging, appreciate our culture and tradition, and above all practice mindfulness in everyday life.

I have been talking about why our elected leaders and senior bureaucrats should possess high moral standards. However, this is not to say that other citizens can be either moral or immoral. It is the responsibility of each and every citizen of the country to be mindful of our thoughts, acts and conducts. It is in having a strong control and grip of these things that we create an individual who is ethically and morally sound in body speech and mind.

While it is important for everyone to possess high moral standards, it is imperative by virtue of their posts that elected leaders and senior bureaucrats not only display high moral standards but equally practice them with mindfulness.

Consistency in maintaining high moral standards in every sphere of life and activity is important to not only safeguard our sovereign nation from external intruders but also to enhance economic development and protect the well being of every citizen of the country.

Lastly, let’s not forget that our Kings have left no stones unturned to bring about peace and happiness for the people of Bhutan. Now that it is our turn to give back to the King and Country, the least we can do is develop a high moral standard and deliver our service to the Nation in the best possible interest of the King, Country and People.

Book Review Title: Am Amazing Way To Deal With Change

who moved my cheeseBook Title: Who Moved My Cheese?

Book Author: Spencer Johnson

This is a book I read some 13 years back when I was sent as a fresh school principal and I still keep a copy of the book as my close associate and adviser, especially in when it comes to dealing with change.
The story of ‘Who Moved My Cheese? revolves around four characters, two humans and two mice. Hem and Haw, Sniff and Scurry look for cheese in a Maze to keep themselves well fed and happy. ‘Cheese’ here is the metaphor of what we actually aspire to have in life be it in personal life or work. The ‘Maze’ in the story is a metaphor of where we spend our time looking for what we want.
The way the four characters look for cheese, find the cheese, enjoy the cheese and then look for new cheese unveils the very characteristic of how people deal with change in every walk of our life.
Some of the quotes as written on the walls of their home by Hem and Haw read as follows:
1. Having Cheese Makes You Happy.
2. The More Important Your Cheese is To You The More You Want To Hold On To It.
3.If You Do Not Change You Can Become Extinct.
4. What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?
5. Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It is Getting Old.
6. Movement In A New Direction Helps You Find New Cheese.
7. When You Stop Being Afraid, You Feel Good.
8. Imagining Yourself Enjoying New Cheese Leads You To It.
9.The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Will Find New Cheese.
10. It Is Safer To Search In The Maze Than Remain In A Cheese less Situation.
11. Old Beliefs Do Not Lead You To New Cheese.
12. When You See That You Can Find and Enjoy New Cheese, You Change Course.
13. Noticing Small Changes Early Helps You Adapt To The Bigger Changes That Are To Come.
14. Move With The Cheese And Enjoy It.
These are the Mantras for the Game Changer to face the Change in Your Life. You won’t believe how this book brought about immense change in my life. I was becoming a bit frustrated in my work place. I was like in this organisation there is no point giving your best. After all whether you are a performer or non-performer, there is no difference. I was getting more and more frustrated at the way the things were happening in our organisation.
I did not even feel like going to office. In the midst of my frustration I was browsing through my book shelve to calm my disturbed self.
There in the collection of my books, I noticed “Who Moved My Cheese?” And it brought out a whole lot of memories back then when I opted for a change.
I picked up the book and re-read it once again. I got reminded of the 14 mantras in the book and then suddenly I felt a huge weight lifted off my chest.
I was like Why was I even angry? I smiled to myself and made up my mind. Since then I have stopped complaining. I realised that My Cheese has been moved and I need to find new ways to get to the Cheese Station.
And today I know that I need to constantly keep myself updated to find ways to get to my Cheese Station.

Enjoy The Book!

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