November 16, 2017 – Guilty Social Conscience

I’m packing up for Myanmar/Burma this weekend. A few weeks ago I mentioned how I was feeling really conflicted about going to run the Bagan Temple Marathon.  It’s a global shame considering ethnic cleansing and genocide seem to be the order of the day, week, month, year at present over there.

I haven’t gotten any less conflicted. I was having drinks with some friends last night celebrating the birth of one of the greats (Happy birthday, Pierluigi!). When people asked me where my next race was, I found myself apologizing profusely and rambling about how guilty I was feeling about flying to Rangoon.

Unfortunately, my miserly cheapskate-ness trumps my social conscience. Everything is paid for already so if I’ve already contributed to that regime’s economy, by NOT going all I am doing is denying myself the trip; it’s not like I could claw back the money that’s gone into the country’s coffers. Maybe if I go I can see something, post something, and raise awareness about the place, about what’s going on.  I suspect the itinerary will highlight the best side of Myanmar but I’ll keep my eyes open and my camera’s lens cap off.

On this trip I think I might be the complicit bad guy. That’s a tough thing to see when I look in the mirror.

Sigh. First world problems for me; all world problems for the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya Muslims.