Disaster IS Development: How utilizing hardship will develop and re-define a nation.

2015 has been a big year for Nepal and today marks a significant day in the country’s history!

On September 16th, 2015, The Constitution of Nepal 2072 was passed. This new body of principles, which outlines the terms of power, will allow Nepal to assume a federal structure of government. After years of extensions and delays, Nepal has finally completed a 65 year quest. This week, the Constituent Assembly (CA) members signed Nepal’s Constitution 2072 ending this long, ambitious journey.

 Nepal Constitution

While the completion of the constitution is a realized dream for Nepal, and a step toward building an equitable society, ensuring economic equality, prosperity and social justice, the success of the constitution will depend on many factors that extend beyond what is written on paper.

The magnitude of the trauma and suffering the Nepali people have faced over the years is immense. For decades, the Communist Party (Maoist) have injured, killed and displaced thousands of people, and the distress they have created has greatly contributed to the ongoing rise of violent activity. Nepal is a landlocked country that is sandwiched between two super-powers—India and China—which often makes them politically uncertain and easily susceptible to the demands of their neighbours. There is a vast disparity in class among the Nepal citizens which makes it difficult to find common ground and implement standards that will benefit society as a whole, ie. If the government invests time into new traffic laws, how does that benefit village people living in the mountains who rarely, if ever, come to the city? Additionally, there is an extensive amount of smuggling, money laundering and corruption that occurs within these borders, and let’s not forget the most recent events, the Gorkha Earthqauke (April 2015).

It is said that those who live in the thick of events rarely understand them and instead, simply experience them. As a Canadian living in Nepal, I recognize the hardship the people have faced, but I also see how it has benefitted this society and has put Nepal in a strong, powerful position.

If you look at history as a whole, most great developments that have assisted in changing the course of a nation emerged from ‘disaster’. Think of all the people from countries around the world who lived through the hardship of war. Because of their experience, they naturally possess greater forbearance and strength of character. At the age of 96, my resilient, war surviving, Ukrainian great grandmother insistently declared that she was more than able to care for herself. While those from the younger generation who have never encountered such difficulties, barely know how to make a cup of tea and plead for their parents to make it. I am not claiming that those who have not experienced war are completely useless, nor am I advocating hardship as a way of life. What’s important to understand is experience that entails suffering and hardship, enables people to become responsible and benevolent, accelerates their growth which fundamentally educates them. As one of the men I interviewed for my book project said, “The result of disaster IS development.”

We often frown upon places we label as ‘developing’, but isn’t development a good thing? The moment we stop developing, we stop being creative; we stop exploring, we stop living! While Canada prides itself on being a developed country, I find it extremely stagnant. People get caught up in their routine lives which they have fully developed and mastered. As a result, instead of living and learning, they constantly replay and repeat.

Nepal, in spite of your history, I invite you to be proud of your developing country. I believe you’ve all had the unique opportunity to witness and experience the end without actually ending. Consider all the hardship your people and nation have faced, including the Gorkha earthquake, and welcome the idea that it has provided an opportunity to physically rebuild and redevelop itself.

Now that a constitution has been formally promulgated, we can choose to see this as a new beginning for this nation and its people—a miracle that’s allowing Nepal to redefine, redesign and reconstruct itself into a strong, prosperous, successful country that utilizes its geographical location, natural resources and multi-skilled citizens constructively in order to expose its full potential and share it!

There is a powerful force that comes with accepting suffering and hardship, and utilizing it as a tool for greatness! Although the body of written work is complete and the ground has been cleared, the success of this new chapter does depend on how the Nepal people choose to utilize their experience.

Nepal, your ambitious nature and innate fortitude has got you this far, now its time to utilize your experience in a powerful, constructive way and let the ‘real’ Nepal blossom! Live Passionately Over your Past experiences (#PassionOverPast).

Laska is a Canadian Writer currently living in Nepal working on her book project entitled “The Divine ‘Disaster'”. For details about her book project or if you would like to participate, check out her BOOKS page and scroll to the bottom. Join the movement, and those choosing to live Passionately Over their Past experiences by hashtagging #PassionOverPast via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

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