Opinion

April 16, 2017

   No means No…


No means No…and when someone says so, you stop! Be it your friend, girlfriend, daughter, sex-worker or even your own wife.
For many of us, it’s very difficult to say no. We’re asked to take on extra assignments at work and help colleagues and clients with projects that might be outside our official job description. We’re asked favours by our friends, by our families; and sometimes even by our LinkedIn connections. And though it’s nice to help, we can end up overburdened with tasks and responsibilities we’re not passionate about.
One day in 1965 the noted economist, John Galbraith was taking a nap when Late President Lyndon Johnson called his home. “He’s taking a nap and has left strict orders not to be disturbed,” his housekeeper told the President. Johnson replied, “Well, I’m the President. Wake him up.” Her response? A simple: “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but I work for Mr. Galbraith, not for you.” Then she hung up.
Saying no is hard, but even harder is living the life you don’t want to lead because you couldn’t say no. So, a few years ago, I made it a New Year’s resolution to learn to say no. And it’s been an incredibly liberating experience. Here are the tips I’ve used and see how you can incorporate them into your life.

1. Find your yes

Before you can become good at saying no, you have to know what you’re saying yes to when you’re saying no. You see every opportunity that you pass with a no is really saying yes to something else. You can’t hope to say no when the pressure is on until you know for sure what you really want.

2. Find your voice.

If you’re not used to saying no to things, it’s sometimes hard to actually find the words to say what you want to say. So as not to sound rude, you can thank the person making the request, and offer a legitimate excuse. For example: “I really appreciate you thinking of me, but I’ve just got too much on my plate right now” or “Thank you so much for the invitation. I would love to do it/serve/get involved, but I just can’t right now. I hope you will think of me again” or, simply, “I’m just not able to do this right now, but thanks so much.”

3. Press pause.

In the heat of the moment, it’s especially difficult to say no. This is especially true for people you like or for causes you care about, but where don’t have the time or resources to commit. So instead of having timing work against you, make time your friend. Don’t answer right away. Buy yourself time to think about the request by thanking them for the opportunity, requesting some time to think about it, and even perhaps proposing a specific time to get back to them. Most people will understand this and you’ll be able to buy time for yourself in the process.

4. Be prepared to repeat yourself

If you say no and the other party pushes back, the best thing you can do is repeat yourself. This is much easier to do when you recognize beforehand that it is often necessary. If you offered any explanation with your original response, you can repeat this explanation or just say no again.

5.Make sure you’re actually saying “no”

Make no mistake about it, no is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, you need to avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Using limp phrases instead of saying no will often be considered a yes. When it’s time to say no, just say no!

Ms Vagavi Prakash
Gedu College

 

April 2, 2017

MOTHERHOOD-A CHOICE!!

Mother’s Day is always a huge affair, especially on social and print media. You see videos, posters, open letters and various other things floating about on social and print media. Mothers are thanked, tears are shed, posts are shared and generally every woman is thanked for either being a mother or having the ability to be one. If you are not already being wished on Mother’s Day, it’s out there that one day you will be. Well, what if a woman does not want to be? What if a woman chooses to stay away from the daily fight and struggle that is motherhood? What if a woman just chooses non-motherhood as a lifestyle?
The concept of motherhood is so high up on a pedestal that I don’t think we can even see it anymore. Its entity is so enmeshed with womanhood that every woman is automatically seen as a future mother. Motherhood is perceived as an inevitability and not a choice. So every girl grows up listening to how they are going to be mothers someday. Every woman is asked when they are going to have a baby. Every woman is believed to have a maternal instinct that is possibly brought upon by the presence of a womb. So in this hyperbole of a society, when a woman says she does not want to have children, everyone loses their shit. It shocks people to know that not all women harbour maternal ambitions or instincts. In order to not have to accept this radical notion, they simply deny a woman their autonomy to thoughts and their own body.
Motherhood is wonderful for those who choose it and no one is saying otherwise. However, some women just don’t have an aching womb, they don’t feel the need to fill their life with the pitter patter of little feet, and that’s okay. Just like having multiple kids is okay, adopting a kid is okay and having pets as children is okay. It is not for us to judge another human being for a choice that does not affect us.

Ms Vagavi Prakash
Associate Lecturer
Gaeddu College of Business Studies

 

July 24, 2016

“Changing the Dynamics of Indo-Bhutan Relations”

India and Bhutan share customarily warm and friendly relationship which is fairly trouble free when compared with other South Asian neighbours. Although in 1949, India recognized full sovereign status of Bhutan and treaty of 1949 was freely negotiated by Bhutan, time and again, demand of its review has taken place considerably. The most important provision was embodied in Article 2, “that the government of India would undertake to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan. On its part government of Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of Government of India regarding its external relations”.
It is, incorrect to assume that Bhutan signed 1949 treaty under any kind of diplomatic or political pressures from the side of India. Since Bhutan had lived in a state of isolation, largely because of geographical reasons, but also due to psycho-cultural inhibitions which the people in the region had developed has adjusted to accommodate. While Bhutan’s main concern was restoration of the Dewangiri hill strip on the frontier with India. Bhutan got what it wanted: autonomy in internal affairs while agreeing to be guided by India in external affairs.
In keeping with abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India cooperate closely that neither Government allowed the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of other. Irrespective of contemporary geopolitical pulls and pressure, the Kingdom of Bhutan remained unshaken. When His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuk personally led his troops to fight against insurgent groups of North East, India, it meant to protect security of both India and Bhutan.
In spite of it, after signing the treaty of 2007, Bhutan and India entered in a new phase of partnership. The treaty can also be called framework for future interaction, highlighting cooperative partnership between Indo- Bhutan and is perhaps the only bilateral engagement in South Asia which has transcendent beyond us. And Bhutan’s economy has grown substantially over the past years. Among India’s South Asian neighbours, Bhutan remains as an example of bilateralism in India’s neighbourhoods. It remains its largest trading partners. India from time to time has supported Bhutan’s developmental effort. Even liquidity crunch has been haunting Bhutan for the past few years, but it has managed it so far with Indian intervention.
The visit of Prime Minister Modi voiced emphatically when he spoke to the joint session of Bhutan’s parliament during his first foreign visit after assuming the office. For example, his point on “Terrorism Divides, Tourism Unites” highlights the importance of creating a web of development plans with Bhutan. He also made commitment to help Bhutan in transactional area such as in education, sports, e-libraries, Himalayan Studies etc. However, these areas are to craft the special relation India and Bhutan to cement further in bilateral engagement in South Asia.
Bhutan and India, however, have developed a good tie that is functional and operational when looked from the perspective of state behaviours’. This difference is very striking when put into contrast to all the countries in South Asia. The two countries have salvaged not into impeding crisis, and have creep into the relationship. There has been understanding in the ominous trends which in fact was important to grasp the issues from a broader perspective that shapes the processes at work. Indo- Bhutan relationships are successful when the mutual differences get resolved without the need for either side making compromises on its core national values and interests with the continuing friendship of brotherhood has cemented mutual trust and confidence “Bharat to Bhutan, Bhutan to Bharat”.

-Lobzang Dorji, freelance researcher

 

Life is all about Change.                                                                                                                                         MAY 15, 2016

No matter what we do there is always something that we are unaware of which we will come to know after we finish doing the work or either in the future by looking at the past. Since my last post I have been thinking about what life really is? And the answer that I got was nothing.
I tried looking for answer by posting the same question in Facebook, there I got one very interesting answer which says that we start living life with lots of desire and as we continue to live on, we come to know that happiness is more important than all other things, on realizing that, that will be the time from which we start living life looking for happiness no matter how big or small the thing is, which I considered as the best answer thinking it actually defined life as a whole relating to all the human being.
Asking this question to myself I sometime get a feeling that am I not too young to ask such questions? Few days ago I was helping my neighbor in decorating his hotel when one of the well known business man, of Bajo town known as Gajey, came in the hotel with one lama and another an aged person. Looking at him I got a strange feeling, as I knew him and all his past. That he was once a driver in PWD, at that time he started doing business by selling scrap, and now he is one of the riches man in the town! Here, is it hard work? Patience? Or what really is it? Life? At that time I had no clue what really it was.
Apart from that I still remember the first day when I went to school crying in front of the school gate as my mother was asking me to enter the school without her. And few months back she was with me in the school to get my result of my Mid-term exam, which was actually the last of my school life. Other than that I remembered all those time when I was in different grades wondering when will I reach class 8,10 and 12 and so on. After reaching each grade I was like Oh! I use to think like that and now it feels like nothing and even in that time wondering about the higher grades.
After all these years of schooling I have reached my final grade of high school which I will be graduating after few months and looking back I feel like till date I have done nothing which would make others remember me even if I happen to die. Was my life worth it? Thinking about such things it makes me feel like I have wasted all those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.
We need to look back at our past, think about it and make a difference at present, so that we don’t have to regret by looking back to our past in future.

Blogger : Teeneger

 

WILL FOOTBALL EVER BE A CAREER?

This country and its people are sometimes unbelievable. Recently football united the entire nation for weeks on social media. History was made, on the 17th of March when Bhutan scored two goals against Srilanka. For once, when we had a platform to discuss the future of these athletes everybody including potential journalist and politicians failed to raise that issue.
We might expect the chairmen or president who look after the national team to take initiatives, but the truth is they work because they get paid. And that’s about it. The sad thing is we were given an opportunity and we failed as foot ball freaks or lovers or whatever we call ourselves. Football is a game for most of us, but those that play good enough to make history mustn’t go to bed thinking about how to manage time between studying or paying his bills by working somewhere and at the same time keeping up on the field.
These lads aren’t college or highschool athletes although few are still attending college, they are national players who must compete with men from countries that support athletes full-time. Asian countries like Nepal and India pay their players on a full-time which leads to a. Better performance in the field. b.More youths take sport seriously because they understand that it can be taken as a career. Nepal has remained as the lowest developing country in Asia for a long time and although however corrupted their leaders may be they haven’t said no while allocating foreign aid and benefits towards securing the future of these sportsmen.
We are always looking for ways to reduce unemployment by associating ourselves with complex words like entrepreneurship whose definition if asked will not be known by most youths. The man who made history on the 17th is now being invited as one of the speakers for a panel when he should be getting ready to get his ass kicked by japan? When he should be invited to talk about his future. Obviously from recent articles he belongs to a club and must be getting paid on a full time. But nobody cares because, he made history and now every day after that until few months, every magazine, radio, bar, etc in town starting from the tashi delek will feature him. For most of us for a long time football will never be a career.
I am not saying stop supplying drugs and building farm roads, all I am saying is for once let us take the possibility of sports as a career the next time we discuss how to reduce unemployment in our five year plan. Let us bring this issue as means to reduce youth unemployment and delinquency.
Courtesy: Tashi Wangmo
Bhutanese Blogger

Emily Stone looks to nature for happiness boost

We turned our faces toward the bluebird sky, closed eyelids against the brilliant sun, and soaked up its mid-afternoon warmth. Although the day was not especially warm, the whisper of a breeze let us keep every ray of the sun and every bit of heat we’d generated on a little walk. Knowing that we won’t get many more days like this before snow flies and temperatures plummet, my parents and I basked like turtles on that fallen log–lingering in happiness.
Recently I had another encounter with happiness: not only from being in a group of wonderful people, but also discussing how to measure happiness across an entire nation. Jack and Mary Wichita, local Museum members, spoke about a trip to Bhutan, and the “Land of the Thunder Dragon’s “Gross National Happiness Index”.
As a small country of 750,000 people in Southern Asian, Bhutan seems fairly unremarkable. But in the 1970s, His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, coined the term “Gross National Happiness”. He started governing on the concept that “…sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing”.
As globalization, economic development, and television threaten their traditional way of life, the Bhutanese are making decisions with more than just money and “things” in mind. The values that contribute to happiness – actually measured in “sufficiency” – are presented as nine domains: psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards. If you were “sufficient” in all of those domains, wouldn’t you be happy?
Jack and Mary highlighted some of the practical applications of these values that relate to the environment. The Constitution of Bhutan says all citizens have a duty to prevent pollution. Organic farming is mandated by law, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides are banned. The country is 70% forested, and their policy dictates that it not fall below 60%. The export of lumber is prohibited.
Bhutan wishes to stay carbon neutral (plentiful electricity comes from hydroelectric dams), so citizens must apply to get one of the limited number of permits to own an automobile. As a result, traffic is light, smog doesn’t build up, and people stay healthy by walking.
Historically, walking has been the main of transportation in Bhutan, so access to health care is measured by walking time. Their goal is for each person to live within an hour walk to a clinic. Do you even have that level of convenience?
Bhutanese also promote health through value placed on getting sufficient sleep, which falls under the “time use” domain. (I’d love to have more cultural support for getting enough sleep…but how can I sleep with ideas like these dancing around in my head?)
What if our country–or even our hometown–governed based on these values? I’m already surrounded by people who strive to drive less, walk more, garden organically, and conserve resources. We’ve all experienced the ability of exercise, sleep, and time in nature to increase happiness. How can we promote these values even more?
Many studies have shown how nature can increase our happiness, and I’ve written about them here before. A common soil bacteria – Mycobacterium vaccae – has been shown to increase serotonin (the “happy” hormone) levels in mice. Even the nature within our bodies –bacteria in our guts – regulates serotonin levels. Vitamin D, synthesized with help from the sun, can help prevent depression. “Forest bathing” is a recognized relaxation and stress management activity in Japan.
As these ideas swirled in my head, I kept landing on the title of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems: “Lingering in Happiness.” Lovely and short, I once had it memorized for easy access. It begins: “After rain, after many days without rain…” and then describes the dampness trickling down through the forest, permeating the soil, feeding the “roots of the oaks”, until even the stones “feel themselves being touched.”
Like raindrops that touch every bit of life in the forest, like the sunshine that soaked through our eyelids as we sat on the fallen log, like the conservation values that permeate life in Bhutan, I believe our happiness is inseparable from our relationship with the earth. Perhaps we should go outside–right now!–and find a forest where we, too, can linger in happiness.

The writer is a Naturalist/Educator at the Cable Natural History Museum.

[Courtesy- Emily Stone]

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