In the changing landscape of a new world economy, we have repeatedly seen ourselves overcome challenges, outgrow limitations, innovate and thrive. We have seen governments rise and fall, countries go to war, new alliances, natural disasters, the Covid 19 pandemic, national economies scale and breakdown, but through it, all humans have persisted.
I have come to understand that we can either choose global interconnectedness as a strength or remain in the shadows of our own constraints. We can choose to think big or remain small. We can choose political stalemate or give new people and ideas a chance. But most importantly, we must align to our core values as a country and as people. Values are ideas and instincts that have been debated, taught and handed-down across generations. They tell us who we are and why some things are more important to us than others. Nations have survived and thrived because of the values that anchor and sustain them.
Kul Man Ghising, Balen Shah, Rabi Lamichhane, Mahabir Pun, Dr Sanduk Ruit, Harka Sampang, Dr Bhagwan Koirala and so many others headlining news. They are not heroes; they are ordinary people – just like you and me – but with an extraordinary mindset of self-belief and determination. What makes them special is their dedication to their purpose. It is almost single-minded and fearless. And it is set in values. But what are these values? And is it any different from what you and I want?
We talk about development and growth all the time: sustainable growth, green growth, inclusive growth, shared growth… but what is the growth we want. We are a country rich in resources but poor in opportunities, we live with profound inequalities in our communities; what we need is economic activity that contributes positively to the well-being of the common man and the environment. Our national discourse needs to move away from corruption, insufficiency, black markets, inequality, instability and poverty.
We need to actively and consciously work collaboratively to maintain a global vision and navigate national progress. We need to look beyond economic indicators, the fight for political clout and power and navigating crises to truly understand what makes us who we are. What is our vision? What determines the well-being of our people? What are our indicators of progress? Can we be more honest, transparent and accountable? What drives us as a country? What matters to us most? Can we do more? Can we do better?
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