Monday, August 19, 2019

From knees to the wheelchair: a story of pain and struggle

Photo of Rinchen Dorji, a physically challenged student of Khasadrapchu MSS

Life is a choice. How we live it depends on our ability to accept who we are and find peace within ourselves. When we have a disability, it does not mean that we don’t deserve to live. We all have disabilities. The only difference is that some are visible and some are not. As we all know, life does not treat everybody alike. It often throws lemons at you and if you can’t make lemonade out of them, it is said that you will have to go through the sour taste of time forever. A positive mind, charged with optimism and determination, is what takes a person to lift himself up from the pain and find a new purpose in life. It is this positive energy that has transformed the life of Rinchen Dorji, a physically challenged student of Khasadrapchu Middle Secondary School in Thimphu.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

G4B, the smart and intelligent goggles for the blind

In a world where technology is transforming lives everyday, there is another good news for the blind. A young engineering student from Arunachal Pradesh in India has invented goggles that can protect visually impaired people from bumping into taller obstacles on the way. Fitted with sensors, the G4B or Goggles for the Blind is designed to detect obstacles that are higher from the ground within the distance of 2 meters and alert the user through vibrations if he or she gets closer. It is said that the G4B has three sensors: one each on the left, right and at the Center, designed to vibrate as per the position and direction of the obstacle. More interestingly, it is said that the intensity of vibration is determined by the distance between the person and the obstacles ahead of him or her. The closer one gets to the obstacles, the stronger the vibration becomes. It uses echo-location, similar to the navigation mechanism used by bats. If this technology comes to the market, I think it can make life much easier for the visually impaired population as a whole.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

If we have the heart to help, the power of love never dies

A man was driving along a rural highway one late evening when he spotted an old lady stranded with her car on the side of the road. Wondering if she was in trouble, he stopped his car. As he walked out of his car and approached her, he could sense a mixed feeling of relief and nervousness on her face. She felt relieved because at least she had somebody to seek help from but she was also nervous and afraid that the man might harm her. But as he got closer, he called out “Hello, I am Brian and I am here to help you.” The old lady instantly glowed with a broad smile and thanked him for his kindness. She told him that she had a flat tire and that she had no idea how to change it. The man got under her car, removed the flat tire and replaced it with the spare one. The grease and dusts made his hands dirty and he even injured his finger while tightening the wheel-nuts. After fixing the tire, the lady thanked him and asked him “How much do I owe you for the work?” The man smiled and said “You don’t owe me anything. If you really wish to pay me, just help somebody else in your life just as I have helped you today” said the man as he drove away.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

What's happening to the extra time that modern technologies give us everyday?

In the past when we did not have any technology to ease our life, we had to do everything manually. We had to be always busy because we had to be everywhere physically to get our jobs done. Even to visit the nearest town and to get back home, we had to walk for days and weeks on foot or horses. During those days, it made sense when people said they were busy all the time. Nevertheless, they still had time for social and family events in the community.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

How to help children get the best out of their school vacation: a reminder for parents/guardians

Now that the summer vacation for students has begun, thousands of children and youth will be returning home to spend the much-awaited holidays with their families and friends. After five months of disciplined life under the supervision of school management, this is the time for them to relax and have fun with their loved ones. They will often be hanging out with friends, exploring every nook and corner of towns and streets. As a result, there are also risks that they might cross their boundaries and get into problems.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Understanding Buddha from a layman's point of view

Photo of His Eminence Garab Rinpoche narrating the story of Lord Buddha. Image courtesy: Facebook timeline of Dorji Phuntsho.

As Buddhists, the first and foremost thing we should know is that Lord Buddha is not God. He was never a superhuman like those Gods worshiped by other religious communities across the world. He neither created life on Earth, nor did he have any role in the creation of natural phenomena around us. He never claimed to have created this universe. He was just a researcher who found answers to worldly suffering and showed us the path to enlightenment. This was the key message His Eminence Garab Rinpoche conveyed during the observation of the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha at Kuensel Phodrang in Thimphu on 17th June 2019. Taking advantage of the huge presence of young people at the event as well as considering the underlying significance of the auspicious day, Rinpoche briefly shared the biography of Lord Buddha especially to help young people understand who he was and how did he attain enlightenment.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Elevating the teaching profession by motivating teachers

Many of us who had lived through the late 20th century would agree that teaching used to be considered one of the noblest professions in Bhutan. Until 1990s, to join the teaching profession was a matter of pride and honor because the society had a huge respect for teachers. When I was a student, I had many friends who wanted to become teachers in life, not for any additional monetary incentive, but for the love and respect they would enjoy from the society. Even my late father had wanted me to become a teacher because he too knew the nobility of the teaching profession.