A Culture of Appreciation


It is debatable as to whether we lost the culture of appreciation- or did we not possess it at all. Collect a set of five fellow Bhutanese, and perhaps you hear them say “leaders did not do any good for nearly two decades and as a result we continue to suffer”. This might, to some extent, appears as a bitter truth; yet this is unreal. Everyone—leaders, public, intellectuals, academicians, experts, civil society members, writers, journalists, among others, have sacrificed their tireless contributions profoundly, at least for the sake of “real democracy” in Bhutan. The priceless efforts made by some of our fore leaders to resolve this issue are crystal clear in our minds.

We all know that when things are not under the control of our hands, decisions cannot be made and results cannot be obtained in our favor. However, many among us still continue to blame one another. This trend has been with us for a long time and if this continues in the current pace, it is likely that we might deviate from opting for ‘a culture of appreciation.’ Some of the recent chronological events swinging in as ‘issues for debate’ in the online sites and the direction – by virtue of self realization; our society is heading to, perhaps deserve some timely caution.

From the time of being evicted from our nation to being a refugee for almost two decades: further down to the resettlement process, we all have swum in the soup of constant discourses. The meaning and content of those discourses have given a flavor to our lives—be it sweet or bitter, better or worse, fruitful or fruitless. Seemingly noticeable, we have always found something to complain rather than being complacent. If we stay at home, we complain that there is nothing interesting to do, when we travel we complain about the lumpy beds of the hotel and crowded airports, when we go to work we complain about having too much to do, when we read someone’s creative thoughts we try to find some loop holes to make a complain, and you name it. We seem to have lost the sense of gratitude – or rather never cultivated one. Criticism is a reprehension and constructive feedback with an alternative is an appreciation. Both are needed but the later presides over the former by a big margin.

The word “Dhanyabaad” in our language is unblemished in itself. The meaning often includes a sense of gratitude combined with a desire to repay others for what we have been given. It’s not just that we feel grateful, or that we express our gratitude, but that we actually experience a sincere desire to give something back. We might think of it as appreciation that stimulates a sense of obligation. Not an extremely imposed obligation. But a sense of obligation that arises naturally within us as we recognize how we have been supported and cared for by others. Perhaps the fact that we are fighting for a common cause needs no mention here. Our problem is like a boat; we are all sailors either with no captain or too many captains. The problem is vivid and the solution is a far reaching goal – not impossible; but the level of thought and approach should perhaps be changed. Albert Einstein once said, “The significant problems we are facing right now cannot be solved with the same level of thinking we were at when they were created”.

Almost twenty years passed by and we seem to have the same notion of what “I” say or do is right. We could never comprehend “achievement” together and rejoice with happiness, neither did we appreciate each other. Needless to mention, the young talents are mushrooming. Let’s ask ourselves – how much have we appreciated them and how much do they deserve? You must be thinking, “Why is this writer looping himself between appreciation and gratitude”? Well, look at the developed society and you will get your answers. With appreciation comes happiness and motivation to do more. Appreciation is the real source of success. It brings recognition and being recognized means being celebrated and held in high esteem. Rejoicing together brings respect for each other which is a key element to success as a society. Let’s not forget that appreciation and recognition is the thrill that propels the athletes to break existing records; the tonic that helps writers to produce outstanding works; helps a student to learn even more than he is expected to and countless others are benefited because of this simple magic. Appreciation is a gesture that can turn into a miracle and believe it, this miracle has given U – turns to people’s lives.

We seem to react and comment on everything in haste. Any deed carried out in haste will lack wisdom, and so the consequence can be argumentative to miserable. The real wisdom is in the sharing of wise experiences and knowledge, but a lot of it is actually in common sense, as much as education is what remains after you have forgotten everything you learnt in the college. The difference is how we apply this common sense and education – we all have the ability to keep going even when we face challenges in our lives, but a bit of motivation – that comes from appreciation, will take us further, because it makes us happier.  Happiness, on the other hand, is not a question of how you look to others. Rather it is a matter of what you feel inside; it is a deep answering response in your life. Happiness comes with achievement and grows exponentially by sharing.

For a nation that has a few authentic heroes, the repositioning of our cultural values through recognition for excellence is something to be encouraged and celebrated, where as means of happiness – be it small or big – should be excavated. The process of development starts from us and continues to grow in the society. In this long process of our journey, it is important to remain positive and appreciate each others’ contribution and take a pride.

To conclude, Shiv Khera in his international best seller ‘You Can Win,’ says, in a nutshell, educated persons are those who choose wisely and courageously under any circumstances. If they choose between wisdom over foolishness, good over bad, virtue over vulgarity, regardless of the academic degrees they have, then they are educated. We have a long way to go, a long mission to accomplish, a long journey to travel, thus, united voice is what matters and a unified actions is what it takes. Let’s be positive and appreciative towards any sorts of good works and this should give us a lasting peace, a lasting freedom, and a lasting dream to see Bhutan a true democratic nation.

(A Mathematician by profession, Mishra currently works as marketing manager in a Virginia-based IT company. He can be reached at: [email protected])


  1. It’s a eyeopening article.It is clearly mentioned that we people do not havee sence of gratitude and thankfullness.After readingh this article what i came to know that,if this type of sence would have come in the decayed mind of so called Bhutanese leaders,we would not have to see these days.I request all the Bhutanese educated youths to go thru this atleast once. If you miss this article to read, you are missing a touchable writer from your society…..

  2. Dhruvaji,
    Nice article to go through with good a very good philosophy. It would create advanced and clean society if all our hearts, faith and mind would work together and rejoice with full of achievements individually and socially if we cultivate the culture of “Appreciation or Thankfulness”. We must be Thankful to all the Int’l and local agencies for their unselfish sacrifices for our dignity n life. Now, its the highest time to realize our mistakes and go ahead with very good setup of everything.But still if our seniors and so called leaders continue their selfish mission in the name of community, the younger generations will not leave them like that and has to face the hardest penalty throughout their lives.

  3. This masterpiece of Mr. Mishra gives an instant insight to one major impediment of our failure to hit a sixer, (among others);- we went on owing our lack of success to someone else; and thus, could never prove that we were self-made human beings. if we all appreciate and practice what the writer appeals each one of us to, we still can hit that across-the-boundry shot!!
    they say, no, “we” say, its never late to start a good thing. so, lets cultivate a culture of appreciation……..
    i “appreciate” your writing and the theme, Mr. Mishra!!

  4. Dhurva Ji,
    Good explosion of your thought that bombarded many ill writers/critics.Your article appeared to be timely.Too many leadres blowing their own trumpets-sounding their egos emptying their legacy/values.People who come up with big write up has to be looked from two perspectives-noble viewers OR politicking prominiency among Bhutanese diaspora.Nothing….
    Keep up writing-I will take your side.

    Mr king

  5. SILVERLINING of Suffering

    The silverlining of our sufferings must be summed up into explosion of Positive Ideas to inspire the new generation. With the participation of a good writers Like Dhurva Mishra in the “Culture of Appreciation”, Bhutanese community is calling for the wisdom of other leaders. “It is a delicate time to reform the future than to regret the past”. Your presence will be felt more graciously than ever before, because I believe it will help to instill the foundation of Trust in our community. Thank you Mr. Mishra.

    With Hope and Optimism
    Dick Chhetri

  6. “A Culture of Appreciation” from Dhruva Mishra comes as a timely tranqulizer – to a society long infected by skepticism – if not negativism. The biggest problem is in making a shift in our thought paradigm which has always been programmed and conditioned by varous factors that are significant in ourlives. So we need to treat our societal ailments with much care and caution. It is obvious that a tanstitional phase like this requires us to pass through junky flyovers in construction, and the various detours. And we will a target of self deception untill our own stupidity reaches a point of saturation.

    But we need to respond to the time’s calling and move on. Tough times never last, tough people do. All we need to do is divide our approach in semesters and start working them. To that end, certainly cultivating a culture of appreciation and edification of every good work done by anybody will be a good first step.

    There is a saying – you will miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you start throwing the ball – chances are that you will hit the net – even if only a few times – but you do hit anyway. Kudos, Dhruva jee, you have hit the net with your first article, and with an important message. Keep writing and contributing your part to our community. Your potential as a writer is yet to blow up!

    Rp Subba

  7. I wish to read more of the type from Mr.Mishra. Piece of this sort helps in healing the created wounds and warns mankind to refine self attitudes to suit the swing of the clock. For sure, this article shall remain realistic at all times.

  8. Dhurba Mishraji, Congratulation for bringing up this article with so much of thoughts and insights.

    I am thrilled with the motivation that you have pursued to the community on the culture of ”appreciation”and ”recognition”. Be it be a family or a community it is only through this essence we go ahead and do better in life. Julius Cesar has said ”one needs mirror to see his own face” you have reflected the mind set that we the Bhutanese have been bearing since the generations.

    It looks obvious that our commuity is getting richer day by day with the creation of potential thinkers and writers.Your first article has given us a message that you are a source of positive thoughts, inspiration and creativity to the society. Keep up your good work and keep contributing. Bravo.

    Durga Giri, Germany.

  9. Dhruva ji,
    Having gone through your article i felt rejuvenated and rejoyced, for it contained all those subtle details brought out beautifully. Heads off to your courage and skill to put forth a brilliant thought. Mr. Mishra’s unfathomable desire to see our community being metamorphosized is highly appreciable.

    Keep up your good work
    Well wisher
    Chandra Chhetri

  10. Dhruvaji,
    I am thrilled by your eloquent and insightful writing. The ‘Culture of Appreciation’ is sadly lacking (utterly) in our community. There are several (factors) inhibiting the growth and spread of such culture of appreciation amongst us. Unfortunately, we still have many people in our community who like to criticize about the minute dirt in your finger-nail when you are pointing at the moon and asking them to enjoy its beauty and purity.

    Your writing will definitely nudge many people to rise from the stagnating plane of pessimism and look into the world with the eyes of optimism and appreciation. Your writing is very powerful and influential. Keep up the good work to spread and inculcate positivity in the community.

  11. As an American I can appreciate Dhruva Mishra’s message but can only imagine the struggles and challenges that continue to confront the Bhutanese refugees, as well as those that have resettled in strange communities around the globe. Wise individuals know that blame solves little and that past experiences, both good and bad, and the willingness to learn from those experiences while moving forward with strength and confidence, shapes us into the individual that our creator desires for us to become. One’s success in life is the responsibility of each individual, but lasting success is only possible with the willingness of others to help along the way. This willingness and sacrifice should never be taken for granted and failing to recognize and appreciate the contributions of others would be a shame. Well Done Dhruva!

    Richmond, VA

  12. The thoughts expressed are noble indeed, if we could put them practically in life. But we are born that way – too prone to maintain our grudge. We tend to dispense it out in the immediate opportunity to the ones whom we know or think of being the part and partial of the whole situation and sufferings. This is what happens when we talk about our leaders. Therefore, naturally as human beings and victims of this obnoxious life as refugees we reserve the blames for others and titivate ourselves. We are growing up!

    Non the less, it is also helpful not to let the past drive away. It can become our guide and may avoid a fall in the same abyss again. Let it come to you – a deed from the past or a doubt from the future. One must acknowledge our deeds, analyze why this is uncomfortable, get an answer, and accept it. Then one needs to process it further. ‘What can be done not to repeat this thought or deed or situation hence forth? The past can lead us to frame a solution if the same situation recurs. Most importantly, plan the implementation of your solution.

    Further, I think the only disability in life is a bad attitude.We have seen a number of physically challenged people accomplishing tasks as perfectly as a physically able person. The reason behind is not unknown to us: A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. A fact that our subconscious knows very well that life does not just happen, we make it happen. We are the rulers of our fate and as someone once said, “He is a true king who rules himself!” Be the first one to believe that you can control your actions and hence your life.
    Mishraji, appreciative positive thoughts!

  13. Dear All,
    I would like to thank everybody for this overwhelming response to my article. I am so thrilled that i am out of words to express my gratitude to you all. This response has inspired me to keep up the art of writing, which I promise to do. Some of the comments were so insightful and encouraging that they promoted my zeal of sharing my thoughts to the community.
    A huge thank you to everybody once again and WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY VIJAYA DASHAMI AND DIPAWALI.

    Dhruva Mishra

  14. Dear Dhruva Mishra:
    I am not a Bhutanese, but I just cannot stop myself admiring your writeup.
    Your following statement was the one I liked the most. “We seem to react and comment on everything in haste. Any deed carried out in haste will lack wisdom, and so the consequence can be argumentative to miserable. The real wisdom is in the sharing of wise experiences and knowledge…”
    Some of Bhutanese/Nepali friends need to learn how to accept or tolerate an opposing point of view. I have faced personal attacks just because some readers did not find my comments posted here on this website, favorable to what they think, on the issue of Bhutanese refugees.

    I think Bhutanese community needs writers like you, not only here in the United States but anywhere Bhutanese reside.

  15. Both thumbs up Dhurba dai for your article. Hope to read many more from you. This master piece write up will definitely play a vital role to be positive while writing comments or articles. I admire you so much for your beautiful write up. I wanna read many more from you please.