our icy world of techno-frenzy, the warm and peaceful image
of Shangri-La still captivates
our hearts—a fairy tale kingdom, where compassion and
wisdom are the benchmark against which all things are measured.
out that this is the very real country of Bhutan. Nestled
in the mighty Himalayas,
tucked between India and Tibet,
Bhutan is the last remaining Himalayan kingdom—an oasis
of innocence in our world.
While developed nations agonize over their Gross National
Product (GNP), Bhutan is the only place in the world where
the official government policy is Gross National Happiness
(GNH). Hard to believe, but true.
Here’s the bad news. The
21st century is sneaking into Bhutan—or maybe bursting
in is more like it. The internet now connects Bhutan to the
best and worst of humanity. Satellite
dishes bring Baywatch and MTV to this once cloistered and
of our modern world is working hard to capture the hearts
minds of Bhutan’s youth.
As we enter the mainstream of the 21st century, what will become
of Bhutan’s traditional spiritual values of compassion,
tolerance and wisdom?
Imagine the last redwood
forest, the last American Indian tribe, the very last whale.
the last “Shangri-La”.