The art of complacency

com·pla·cen·cy (n) a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

It often feels futile to write posts on a small-timing blog about the major events in Burma. I feel as if I’m swimming in deep water, unable to hold my breath long enough to surface. I’ve neglected blogging for this reason.

The junta’s complacency, the United Nation’s complacency, the world’s complacency to Burma’s growing internal problems is enough to make anyone lose sight of what Burma needs, good governance that will reform and reconstruct the country’s civil society. We are transfixed by the images of bleeding monks, dead journalists and the infamous picture of Shwedagon Pagoda in the distance, shrouded in tear gas. But these sentiments do not translate to change.

I no longer know whether I should keep with these sporadic updates on Fifty Viss or abandon this pursuit. I will decide in coming days.

7 thoughts on “The art of complacency

  1. Richard says:

    It is easy to become overwhelmed. I take breaks weeks at a time. But it is always something I want to come back to. I had two other blogs on Burma that I abandoned before this one I have now. I know the feeling. Nothing changes. And it is easy to feel that what you do makes no difference. If it is ai differnece you want to make, than do that – whatever it is.

  2. Puhtuzin says:

    I hear you loud and clear; this is exactly the way I feel. However, I always hear a voice of a friend who warned,

    “blogging is one of only a few insignificant things you’re doing for Burma, so please don’t kill it.”

    As Richards said, ‘take a break.’ I myself am in the middle of a long break from blogging, but I’ll definitely go back.

  3. Alexandra says:

    I am also a North American (Canadian) born Burmese attending university, and I recently visited Burma for the first time over the Christmas holidays. I remembered seeing billboards in the downtown area, and when I was explaining to a friend what exactly was on them, I googled ‘Burma billboards’ and found your blog. This is a very nice site. It is insightful, informative and personal.

    I greatly enjoyed the blog about Burmese food. If you think finding good Burmese food is difficult in L.A., where there are 80, 000 Burmese, try coming to Canada! I’m from Calgary, which has maybe a population of 100 Burmese. I now attened university in a small town in Ontario where I haven’t heard of any Burmese residents.

    I will admit that despite being very familiar with Burmese dishes such as mohinga, oh-no-kauk-swey, lethoke and biryani, I became a bit sick during my first week in Burma. There was so much curry! My North American stomach was rather overwhlemed! I really miss it now though, when I look back at all the delicious food that was readily available to me while there.

    Sidenote. Please keep blogging!

  4. James M says:

    Dear Aung Htin Kyaw,

    Your blogsite is good and helpful. Even if you do not continue, the archives are there for us. But if you do continue, I will be grateful for one…and I think there are many in Burma who would be grateful too for the fruit of your work.

    But I know what you mean about the seeming futility of working like this from the outside. I struggle to find a final answer, but think it is good to continue in the meantime.

    God bless

  5. midgetviking says:

    Please don’t stop. One day… even if it’s hard to see when, but one day the regime will change. History tells us no totalitarian or authoritarian regime can last. Of course, the sooner the better. But until then, even if it’s for the rest of my life, I shall wear one red item every day to remind me of Burma. (Today it’s a bra :-), tomorrow it will be something else.)

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