“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry Thoreau
A Bridge builder builds and safe-guards a bridge that connects Nepal of today to the “nation builders” of tomorrow. With a strong leap of faith, they plunge headlong to build and sustain this bridge that connects the coming era of nation-builders and the fading era of nation destroyers. Only, through the bridge-builder’s efforts, the nation builders can come in to protect your future, our future and together, Nepal’s future.
First let us identify who nation builders are. Nation builders are people like you, passionate among-st all entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, engineers, technocrats, teachers, community activists, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, passionate professionals and you name it….. Most of us could fit into this list. Congratulations if you believe you are one of the passionate ones!
You might ask why don’t we just bring these nation-builders here right away.I would argue, that nation builders cannot build Nepal into prosperity right away. Why? Because even though they have the will and the ability to impact our environment a lot, they need a relatively conducive environment to start working their magic but to sustain this change. Nepal as of today does not offer the nation-builders that environment (yet). This is why we need a group of bridge builders to first build that platform robust to bring in the nation builders.
I believe, bridge builders are the real patriots. They help bring era of nation builders and hence prosperity to us all. Bridge-builders could be some one just like you, ordinary men and women who decide to rise up to the challenge of building platforms where nation-builders can come into. They forgo their short-term individual benefit in exchange for a long-term inclusive benefits. They are ordinary people like you and me, who rise up to the challenge during extra-ordinary times. They are doers who have decided to take on a path of moral integrity to bring change in themselves.
So do you have what it takes to be a bridge builder?
I feel any of us can rise up to the challenge. Inside each of us, are a reservoir of energy waiting to burst out and show what we are capable of.
Here are my personal thoughts on what could be some of your roles as a bridge builder. Feel free to build your own list. This is just a starter guide.
- Lead by example. Become a stronger moral compass for others to follow.
- Inspire each Nepali to search for a common “identity” and “a common sense of purpose” in their community.
- A persistence and patient work ethic helps deal with distractions in this long marathon. Remember: This is a full marathon, not a hundred meter sprint.
- Be a bold yet pacifying voice for confused Nepalis.
- Advocate and organize peaceful resistance to violent systems or groups.
- Forsake the traps of self-glorification and cheap popularity. Do focus only on “bridge-building.” That’s your job, your “karma”.
- Inspire Nepalis around you,on the path of nation building along the lines of Ahimsa – unity through non-violence, compassion, and moral integrity.
- Bring together a critical mass of bridge-builders. Do guide them to work together and protect this new platform.
- Organize and collaborate with small teams of nation builders to ready them for the transition. Remember this African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
- Be ready to face the full force of the system you are trying to change. Consider them as addicts that will try to resist your prescription while you are detoxifying them.
- Join Politics and bureaucracy of Nepal. This country more than any other needs better leadership who take action not just talk. No-one cares about your complaining anymore.
- Finally, have compassion for your enemy (your brethren) even while you strive to completely destroy the system in which they flourish.
Will you build this bridge into a new Nepal? Are you the one ?
I leave you with this:
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
an early version of this was published in myrepublica on April 20 2011