Opinion: Grateful for events like Burning Man, Ironman | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Grateful for events like Burning Man, Ironman

The header for the “My Turn” column by Kurt Zapata in Friday’s Sierra Sun — “What’s worse — Burning Man, or Ironman?” — was enough of an invitation to read on, knowing it would likely be upsetting for me. The quality of the writing is good; the tone and intention is venomous. 

He speaks in terms of “we,” as if all of us share his attitude about Burning Man and Ironman. I personally have not been made to feel like a “dumb mountain rube,” ever, by anyone. It’s been such a revelation to me to learn that I am the only one responsible for how I feel in response to anyone’s behavior.

I am grateful that we have events like Burning Man and Ironman that tend to bring out the best in people. Our culture is fixated on activities that tend to bring out the anger, rage and need to compete in negative and destructive ways.

I am happy to slow down for cyclists or converted MUNI buses decorated in ways that express love, joy and creativity of those seeking a rare chance to be in community where sharing and creative expression are foundational. In fact, I am happy to slow down period, knowing it is medicine for chronic, pervasive anxiety. 

Mr. Zapata suggests “voting with a brick” on “which is more annoying, Burning Man or Ironman.” I’m assuming he means throwing bricks at cyclists, runners or people going to Burning Man.

How terribly, terribly tragic that this man feels he needs to create more violence in a world that so desperately needs kindness, patience and compassion.

I pray that I don’t get in his way when I’m out on my bike. I pray that he is relieved of whatever suffering he experiences as a result of his anger, but I do not think he will feel better by throwing bricks.

Kimball C. Pier


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