Bhutan Seems to Offer Hope for the Future of us All

Dr. Peter Raven, Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, reflects on a poem he read at an event to celebrate a hundred years of National Geographic coverage of Bhutan.

I was moved to include Mary Oliver’s poem in the remarks I made for the Committee for Research and Exploration in the presence of the Queen of Bhutan in Thimpu, the capital. The poem, of course, describes the cycle of seasons and delicately, beautifully tells us about the hope that lies in the renewal of seasons, that leads us to move ahead in the face of seeming disaster because there is a wonderful future being born out of the signs of the closing season.

Bhutan to me seems to offer hope for the future for us all. Deeply spiritual, the country moves ahead with its concept of Gross National Happiness, offering hope for many other nations who admire or seek to emulate it. It has maintained a net ecological balance, with 72 percent of the national territory forested and a determination, legally based, to conserve at least 60 percent permanently. China and India, which flank Bhutan to the —> Read More Here


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