To the international community, Myanmar is seen as a simple dichotomy: "the Junta and the Lady." In reality, the country is an constantly overlapping array of powerful institutions. All of them want simultaneously to make dramatic reforms and at the same time to maintain the status quo.
Her message to us was firm. She said yes, do focus on the opportunities afforded by reform, asking the investors in our group to focus on the provision of critically needed jobs for young people, and to address the problems that trap so much of the population in poverty, poor education, and ill health. But she also said not to ignore the remaining challenges.
There are political figures everyone adores like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Bishop Tutu or the Dalai Lama. Most people might not know exactly what happened back then, but somehow pretty much everyone is pretty sure that they must have been "on the right side."
That there has been major change happening is certainly true. But much more needs to be done, and as quickly as possible in some areas. The very nature of human rights suggests (or certainly should suggest) that they are universal and irrevocable.
It is an appalling travesty of so-called democracy in a country that once inspired the world when it threw off military dictatorship and allowed Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to enter politics after so many years under house arrest.
Speculation remains high in Myanmar as to if and when opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to China, which was one of the strongest supporters of the previous military government and remains highly influential in the country's affairs.
Burma's Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a good figure to think about in analogy to Mandela. She wasn't on Robben Island, but was greatly isolated in decades of house arrest while Madiba had the solidarity of other prisoners around him.
As 2013 begins to draw into itself for holiday season and the arrival of the coming new year, it is worth thinking about what human rights issues might be put onto our collective front-burners.
The Nelson Mandela of the 21st century is right here, right now. We just can't see it. We're too busy spitting on him and calling him a terrorist.
Change is coming so rapidly to Burma -- the pariah state now known as Myanmar -- that you have to jot it down to keep track.
It is time to get over the notion that not being lost in hatred is a sign of weakness or giving in. We are ready for another way of viewing strength and a fresh approach to improving life on this planet.
In the past week, we have seen an explosion of stories critiquing the Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. One article's particularly hyperbolic headline even asked if she was going to be Burma's "next tyrant?"
At a time when the world is looking to her for moral leadership, her silence on the plight of Burma's Rohingya people is shocking.
We must always keep in mind that the potential for all great beauty is encased within a seed in our souls. With diligence, patience, and empathy, the seed will germinate and bloom into a gift for our fellow men.
I am also facing many people who have encouraged, pushed and personified the desire for change in their respective societies. Because the search for horizons of greater freedom is an essential part of human nature.
Critics wonder how Aung San Suu Kyi could express praise for the military in light of the regime's atrocious human rights record. Perhaps it is because she operates in an extremely tenuous political space.