‘Being British’ and not making a fuss

My latest opinion piece for the E2D

NOW I don’t want to be melodramatic or anything, but at the time of writing I’m just hours away from heading back to Bangladesh – where I spent the six happiest years of my life – and I’m very aware ‘I may not make it back alive’, as they say in the movies.

Over the last year there has been an alarming increase in attacks on foreigners and these have been co-ordinated and planned. Men have been shot to death or stabbed and ISIS has been quick to take the credit, despite the Bangladeshi government trying to quash such talk, which could easily ruin fragile international business relations. For me, it’s quite sad to see extremists gain a hold in a country I love.

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to go anyway, because sometimes you’ve just got to put aside your fears and go with your heart. I need to go back, I really do. I’ve missed the country, the culture and the people too much.

In theory, by the time you’re reading this I’ll be back home safe and sound in my comfy west Cumbrian home. But it’s just possible I won’t be coming home at all. But then life is all about taking risks, isn’t it?

If we keep ourselves safely locked away where the outside world can’t hurt us, all we succeed in doing is killing ourselves slowly from within. We stagnate, we rot and we decay. I’d much rather go out with guns blazing – out with a bang, as it were. I certainly don’t want to go out with a whimper. Who would?

Now not everyone is going to go off to strange places in order to ‘take a risk’ (and that wasn’t the reason I came) but I do think most of us could push the boat a little more than we do. One of the big problems of living in a ‘nanny state’ like the UK is that we become comfortable with the status quo and, with typical British reserve, bear the difficulties with as little fuss as we can, even if it turns out those difficulties should never have arisen in the first place. My feeling is that we all could do with making more of a fuss about things – not to complain (we’re very good at that) – but to make a change for the better. Doing so, however, inevitably means making ourselves targets to be shot at. Personally, I fancy my chances better in Bangladesh.

You will know, in the next issue of the E2D, if I return without a scratch. I’m kind of assuming/hoping I’m going to and I will no doubt tell you all about my experiences over there.
If you’re really keen you could head over to my blog (kenthinksaloud.wordpress.com) and read my thoughts as I publish them while still in the country.

But only if you’re really keen. After all, being British, I don’t want to make a fuss about it.

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