RSS Feed

Category Archives: Human Rights

And Justice for ALL

Today I am sitting at the computer with a heavy heart and scraps of paper scattered all around me that hold my thoughts and feelings on the reactions to recent events in racial tension we’ve been seeing.  I’m trying to figure out where to begin.  I’m trying to compile related ideas. I pray for wisdom in saying what needs to be said and in doing it well. I want to say something profound, important, or inspiring, yet I’m pretty sure whatever I say will just get lost in all the current noise.  And this isn’t a normal noise either.  You know when two kids get into an argument on the playground and while one is trying to give voice to his side the other plugs his ears and sings “La, la, la, la, la…” or hums as loudly as possible so he can’t hear the other? Yeah, the noise I’ve been hearing is a cacophony of childish humming and singing. It gives me a headache and a heartache.

There’s just been so much hate lately, and the most noise seems to come from competing and extreme sides, making it hard to hear when you actually want to if you’re anywhere between. If you’ve ever had one political leaning or the other, that does not mean you have to automatically align to everything your side says. It’s not about picking a political side. Look to your own morals and guidance in that. Look to biblical foundations of loving one another. Educate yourself, and do so not by only reading or watching the news that conveniently reflects what you want to hear or what your politicians would have you hear. It’s one thing to not understand, but something else when you cover your ears and won’t even listen.  “La, la, la, la, la!” There is media that will align with any ideas out there, so we really need to be diligent in either finding the least biased information we can, or to at least allow ourselves to see both sides so we can make our own decisions. I have begun to wish we could do politics in more of an a la carte manner instead of having to choose either the beef or chicken entree. Maybe replace the cole slaw with the pasta salad? Or something else entirely. Maybe I just want pizza. Politics as they are are NOT working. While one side denies we have a real problem, the other uses a funeral for a shameless and obvious stunt to gain black votes.

All this hate I’ve been seeing seems to boil down to this: We’re afraid to have our rights stomped on, so we continue to keep our knee of the neck of another? It’s not an either or situation. We should ALL have the same rights. And I have heard and read some absolutely crazy excuses and deflections lately in order to avoid any accountability.  “La, la, la, la, la!” It’s hard to take a real look at what is ugly sometimes. I know because it has taken me 42 years to do it. No wonder we try to pretend systemic racism doesn’t exist. It’s human nature. We are more likely to see only what we want to see and then stop looking, because otherwise we may have to do something and/or face changes in what is comfortable for us.  But now that I’m seeing it, I realize just how hideous it actually is, yet I can’t look away. I just keep thinking, there has to be some way we can fix this.  But as I’ve said, politics are not working. I don’t put my faith in them. I put my faith in the God who sent his son to this world long ago to set an example of love and justice.

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness while the world is shaken to the core.” Psalm 82: 3-5

Oh, boy! Here’s another white girl being brainwashed by the leftist agenda. That’s the latest crazy defense I’ve heard. If a white person so much as considers the existence of racism, we are viewed as being forced into white shame. “La, la, la, la, la!” For the record, no, I’m not taken in by that bull either. I don’t feel guilty at all for being white. There’s nothing I can do about the color I was born. You should never have to apologize for something you did not get to choose, only the choices you make. And I won’t base my opinions of others on their appearances either, only on their actions. Hate speaks louder than words and it comes in all colors. Individuals make choices. I choose to stand up against hate.

You must remember that there is a time for all things, as in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of hate towards protesters lately. I was even sent a video of a man saying that Pam cooking spray stood for ‘Protesters Are Maggots’ and it could be used to spray the front end of any type of truck before you use it to plow down protesters. Sadly, I think this was meant to be humorous. It made me angry and hurt for our loss of humanity. These messages often come from people who claim they are patriots and say they want to protect their rights…as long as it’s convenient for them. An example? If we are going to uphold the 2nd Amendment (and I am a big believer in this- it’s about keeping the government from oppressing us, not just home defense), we also have to uphold the 1st Amendment which protects the freedoms of speech, assembly, and petition, which is what protesters are doing. Violent and destructive rioting is illegal, but peaceful protesting is not.  You may not like what these protesters have to say, but they have the right to say it. You know who was a great protester who stood up for justice and even threw around a few tables?  Jesus.  Yet I’ve seen quite a few fellow “Christians” lumping all these protesters together as bad people and not only discounting what they are saying without even trying to understand it, but spouting some pretty horrible language and generalities about them as well. I don’t think Jesus is very happy about that. One of my Facebook friends shared this amazingly well articulated article from a few years ago this week and I loved it. If you have some time and an open mind, please read it. It’s quite powerful.

livesmatter

And while I’m addressing some of the absolutist ideals I’ve come across lately, here are a few more:

If you support BLM you hate police or If you are a cop, you hate black people. Neither of these ideas is exactly true. Whereas the Black Lives Matter movement certainly has its roots in and has focused on police brutality against Blacks in America, it really has morphed into more than that as it is beginning to bring awareness to more injustices as well. We cannot, without sticking our heads in the sand or putting on blinders, deny this is an issue. The converse of that is that we also cannot say that all police officers are bad people. I truly believe, because I do personally know and respect some of these people, that many become police officers with a heart to help and protect others. That being said, this profession can also draw those who have an agenda of holding power over others, and some are prone to violence. This is why, instead of doing away with police, I believe perhaps an overhaul of the system is needed.  It really doesn’t take very long to become a police officer in comparison to the schooling and training for many other careers, and if we are sending these people out with weapons to patrol our streets, there needs to be better and more thorough training, more psychological evaluations, and much more accountability. There need to be more opportunities for these men and women to interact in settings within the communities they are assigned to, in which both police officers and the citizens can get to know each other, so both sides can be more humanized.  I’m not sure what this may look like in all places, and I realize this idea may seem naive to some, but maybe it’s little meet and greet at a local church, a community barbeque, or a block party situation, but they need to be real and human to each other.

This whole racism thing is just made up because it’s an election year. Seriously?! “La, la, la, la, la!” This was happening under Obama as well. Police brutality spiked and black incarcerations were the highest in California under Kamala Harris, who is now the front runner of Biden’s VP search. Also, Nixon’s own Domestic Affairs Advisor actually admitted, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt their communities.” This has been happening throughout our political history, on either side.

Racism is a politically fabricated scheme so black people have someone to blame for their laziness and has been over since the Civil Rights movement.  “La, la, la, la, la!” I hope most of us can admit that’s pretty ridiculous, yet I’ve heard it.  We didn’t all just live happily ever after then with no remaining issues.  Racism has lived on in various forms. I wasn’t alive before the late ’70s , so I don’t know what it was like before then first hand. I know I don’t hear so much about lynchings and such, but what about Ahmaud Arbery? It took months for his murderers to even be arrested. The defense was, “I was afraid for my life.” Really? Because those were the words of a man whose dad came home and told him they needed to chase down this guy who looked like he may have fit the description of a burglar. Instead of calling the police, they grabbed guns and sought after him as he was out for a run. After Arbery had been struck by their pickup, this man got out of the vehicle and went towards Arbery with a shotgun in hand. When Ahmaud, who had been cornered and was unarmed, attempted to fight back to protect himself, this man was “scared for his life” and shot him… more than once.  There is no doubt that was racism.

You do you. I literally saw this pop up as a hashgtag for the first time yesterday and have already seen a whole message of apathy included with it shared several times over. On the surface it seems like a great idea. You don’t bother me and I won’t bother you. But it’s a cop-out. It’s indifference. According to Elie Weisel, a Holocaust survivor and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” He also said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” He spent his life trying to raise awareness of injustice, and he had a pretty good idea of what that was.

But it isn’t always so blatant, and it’s been ingrained into our society without us even realizing it. In school, I learned about MLK as a sort of hero, but in other places I heard him referred to as a trouble-maker; in fact, as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover had declared him as “public enemy number one.” People had been afraid of him. This was a man who promoted peaceful protests, making a statement by standing up and having a voice other than the one that was supposed to be heard. This got him killed. There are stereotypes that say most black people in America are lazy, drug dealers, drug addicts, and criminals, but if it is true that these numbers are especially high in, say, black men, then we should ask why.  Are they really just bad people because of the color of their skin? Or is there something that has pushed them into this corner? If it doesn’t seem disproportionate that a third of black males in America will at one time be incarcerated, it should. This is why you should research and have an open mind.  I’m really only now learning about systemic racism and problems in our justice system, but I saw a little video I thought explained some of the basics of it.

 

“So at the heart of Biblical justice is the impartial application of God’s moral law within all realms of society, including economic, political, social or criminal justice. Any other definition of justice won’t suffice.”- Tony Evans

The problem of racism is not something we can fix overnight. It has taken generations to root itself into society. We can start by answering the “who” and “what” questions by trying to help each other listen. This creates awareness. Then we can ask “why” and learn more to gain our answers. But we don’t stop there. Once we know and understand there is a problem and its causes, we have to ask “how” we can fix it. If we can make it to that stage, we can work in our communities first, and eventually to the top.

Think back to any time you have ever been in an argument with someone and the other person was clearly not considering your hurt feelings, though you felt a very real pain. You just wanted him or her to listen to you, but instead your feelings were trivialized or completely ignored, maybe even mocked. You felt pretty frustrated, didn’t you? Who are you or I or anyone to disregard someone else’s feelings without trying to understand them? Your personal experiences are your own, but they paint your outlook on everything else. It is your responsibility as a human sharing this planet to remember the same is true of everyone else. In this, you must use empathy and you must try to understand one another. Be like a child and ask why about everything. If you see a problem you don’t understand, don’t discount that it’s a real problem. Ask why. If you still don’t understand, then ask why again, and again, and again, as many times as it takes.

“At that time I instructed the judges, ‘You must hear the cases of your fellow Israelites and the foreigners living among you. Be perfectly fair in your decisions and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.'” Deuteronomy 1:17

A Middle-Class, Middle-aged White Woman Talks About Racism

First, no I’m not a Karen. But that is my gender and generation.

Second, there is no way I can comprehend what it is like to be black in America (that’s kinda going to be part of my point). But that also gives me a chance to speak to the others out there like me, or the Karens. Just because we don’t really know what it’s like, doesn’t mean we cannot add value to the situation. We can sympathize, empathize, and lend our voice to speak up for others. Changes don’t come unless people unite.

powerful-quotes-martin-luther-king-jr

I was born into a middle-class white family in the late ’70s. Picture me as a first grader, fascinated by the noise my corduroy pants made when I walked. My small world consisted of avoiding being threatened by my sisters when I sang all the songs from the movie Annie and trying not to wear out the zipper on the pocket of my Kangaroo tennis shoes. One day in school we are taught about a man named Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a brave and respected man who made a difference for a lot of people in something called the Civil Rights movement. Also, he seemed very exotic to me (not that I knew what that meant). We were told he was black. I didn’t understand why I got a stern talking to when I used an actual black crayon to color him in on my coloring page in school. I was just told he was black. You see, I’m sure I had encountered black people, but I didn’t realize what that meant. I took it literally. People looked all kinds of different ways, and I didn’t give it much thought. I doubt I knew I was white. I thought I was sorta peach or apricot.

So in the innocence of being a kid, I had to figure out that the colors of people weren’t exactly literal and that some time in the past people that came in different colors had not treated each other well. It seemed like it was now all okay though because of that movement this brave man had been part of. We learned it as history, not an ongoing struggle, and when you’re a middle-class white kid, it’s not something you really grow up understanding or seeing every day. For the longest time, I guess I took for granted that the Civil Rights movement of the past meant racism was over now. I haven’t been trying to ignore it all these years. This was not intentional. It just hasn’t been something I noticed in my life. If you’ve been living your life on the other side of the race divide, I’m sure that sounds fairly stupid. But it’s true. At least I’m being honest.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person with a tendency to empathize well. I’ve even done some of those emotional IQ tests and scored high. Yay me! And no, I’m not asking for any cookies.

But maybe I haven’t been very observant. Until more recently. I grew up, went places, read a lot, watched movies and tried to observe the world around me better. Sometimes you don’t want to believe what you learn. It hurts to see others who are put down and treated unjustly.

I asked God once to break my heart for what breaks his. Don’t ever pray that if you don’t mean it. Several years ago now, I learned about human trafficking, which is modern day slavery. It makes me sick that people still own other people and the atrocities of what these slaves have to endure. People are NOT property. No race, no gender, no children should ever be owned. A body may be owned, but not the inner person… until it persists so long that they give up. They let go of their identity and die a little inside. I HATE this. What is happening in our country right now is not just the result of a case of police brutality, which may or may not be based on race. It is so much deeper than that. Slavery in the literal sense ended with the Emancipation Proclamation, but in many cases true freedom still has not been achieved. I believe it’s a deep seated cancer that got into society long ago. As with most things, this is not necessarily true for the majority, but it only takes a few to taint everyone. Not all white people are running around having secret meetings in silly white hoods. I would venture to say most white people are not actively condoning racism. Many of us are disgusted by it. And on the other side, we see a people that has been held down for so long that many of them have lost their hope. They are stuck in cycles they just can’t seem to break, not because they don’t want to, but because they’ve never really been taught how or given the means to do it. (More on this in a later post, I think)

I used to think things were different, and I used to think everyone had an equal chance, but it is so much more complicated than that. More recently, my husband and I have watched some things that raised up more awareness in me and made me think. All of these are either based on true stories or portray a reality. First we finally watched the series The Wire. Season four, the one about the school kids in Baltimore, brought me to tears and broke my heart. Then we watched the movie The Green Book. It takes place in a time of segregation, but it showed the development of a friendship between two unlikely men, one black and one white (it’s more complicated than just that though). Netflix made a short series called When They See Us, about the Central Park Five. And most recently we watched Just Mercy. There are more out there. Plenty of documentaries and books too. These are just a few things that haunted me.

I don’t have solutions that will change society overnight. But I am hopeful that we have reached a point where more people are opening their eyes. I hear people saying we can fix this at the polls. But it’s not about politics. It’s about individuals. There needs to be a dialogue. We all need to try to understand each other. Change will have to happen from the bottom up, not from the top down. We may look different, but beneath our skin color, we really aren’t. We have the same basic needs. We all want to be loved, to be accepted, to know our loved ones are safe, to know that we are safe. We all laugh and cry. We feel joy and agonize in grief. I am sure there are more people who want to do good and see equality than there are those vile people who want to poison and divide society. We must be a bigger number, united in love. As Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Speak out. But you also have to do it in love. I think sometimes we see problems as bigger than we are and think we cannot make a difference. Maybe not alone. But if we come together, light always wins over the darkness.

The least we can do is try to understand. Then we have to find a way to “be the change we wish to see.” That’s going to look different for everyone. But once you see the injustice, you have to do something. Start by following the command to love one another. Much will fall into place and healing will begin if we can do that. Loving means we must listen to each other and respect each other. And let’s please all agree to stop letting an irresponsible media further divide us. Let’s listen to each other, not them.

So come on, Karen. Put down that bottle of wine, cancel your nail appointment and channel that anger over the sign in the supermarket being in the wrong place into doing something good, something that makes a real difference. Become a Karen with a cause.

Be Something Better

There has been so much to tell over the last few years. I decided I would one day write a book and meant to be writing about all the details as they occurred, so I wouldn’t forget. The problem is that as one heartbreaking moment after the next took place, actually reliving it to write it down while it was still raw became increasingly difficult. Somehow, having a running tally of the wrongs my little girl suffered while I could only watch brought me heartache and suffering on her behalf (not to mention the mire I was wading through in other areas of my life). But it’s time to begin to use this and time to begin to tell the story.

Recently, I was told I couldn’t understand a hard life because I “came from a different world” from this other person… this person who has no idea where I’ve been or the life I’ve lived. That is a careless assumption. And coming from a hard place is no excuse to stay there and drag others along who could otherwise have a better life. How selfish!

This is not an excuse for a lack of humanity, ethics, or sense of responsibility.

Yes, I grew up blessed to always have what I needed, but I never took that for granted. Having what I wanted was usually a privilege I had to earn, and I thank God I was taught old fashioned values, responsibilities, the importance of hard work, and how to apply common courtesy in my everyday life. I was taught to appreciate what I had, to put others first, and to keep my word. I was taught that “things” are not what is important, but people and loving them are.

I have struggled. I have made mistakes I had to learn from. And I have been beaten down by others even when I didn’t deserve it. I never expected the whole world to pity me because of it or that anybody owed me because of it. I learned to look to God, prayed, and let Him pick me up and carry me through it.

I guess I do come from a different world than yours. In mine, I didn’t make myself a helpless victim. I didn’t make up excuses to not make an effort. And I will never let my girl see herself as a victim either, even though you have helped make her one, because I will teach her to be strong and to know her worth and value. I will teach her that “things” don’t matter, but people do. And I already marvel when I see how strong she has become. With this I also see that she can break your cycle, and that she can one day use this to grow and be a powerful woman who seeks justice for others. I pray she will not use this as an excuse, but instead as fuel. Her seeing both worlds will help her to see that she has a choice. We will continue to show her the better side because she is better, and she has a future.

 

 

 

We Are All Models

A man who does not know how to properly treat a lady has no business in raising one; nor does a woman who does not know how she should be treated.

The behaviors we exhibit for our children in our relationships are the ones they will develop in their own lives. That is a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Parents, think about what you are modeling for your children. Is it what you want them to become?

Treat others as you want your children to be treated, and how you want your children to treat others.

wonderwoman

 

Love One Another

I was poking back through a few drafts of posts I had saved when I discovered a post I had actually trashed two years ago because I was afraid of the backlash I might receive if I actually posted it, afraid people may only read the parts they wanted to in order to be offended. Lately, being offended is the hip thing to do. And that made me realize that maybe my message is even more important than it was when I originally wrote this. I just ask if you read it to know that I did write this in love and am sharing it in love. I pray anyone reading this sees my heart:

God never asked for our assistance in judging one another; He called us to love Him and to LOVE one another, and this was put above all the other commandments.  If we could all stop looking for each other’s faults and begin to see and repent of our own, wouldn’t it be easier to love others?  After all, not one of us is perfect.

I want to address an issue that has been heavy on my heart for sometime now.  Unfortunately, though I do this in love and with good intentions in hoping to make others see love, I am sure some will find a way to be offended.  This is why I’ve not addressed the issue earlier.  So, please read with an open mind, no matter which side you take on the matter.

As a straight person, I admit I do not understand anything really about being gay.  I do know that I have now and have in the past had several gay people come in and out of my life whom I have thought were amazing people, regardless of their sexual orientation. People are people, whether black or white, gay or straight, and we are called to look at each other’s hearts and to love one another.

Sometimes the discussion of whether being gay is morally right or wrong comes up because I am a Christian.  This is always an awkward matter that I try to avoid.  Why?  Because I have to admit that I do not think this is what God intended; however, I also feel that it is not my place, nor any other Christian’s place to pass judgment on those who are gay. I want to love people, no matter their orientation.

Again, no person is perfect.

Whatever our imperfections, impurities, vices, etc., we all have them in some form.  Let’s try not to focus on these things in one another, but to see the good instead, and to see that deep down we are the same and everyone just wants to be and equally deserves to be loved, because God loves us equally.

As far as I can tell, there are people like me who try to generally stay out of the crossfire when it comes to this matter.  But I also see people thrusting themselves in and hating one another.  I see Christians condemning gays and I see gays condemning Christians.  What will this ever solve?

On the side of gay people, I see them often feeling they are being backed into a corner.  We cannot deny that hate crimes do exist, and hurtful comments are uttered under breath. A basic reaction to this is always to attack back or to stay as small as possible in that corner, hoping not to be noticed.

Then on the side of Christians, I often see and hear comments about how all Christians are hypocritical and hateful, yet most of the people I know who claim to be Christians really do not hold any animosity towards gay people.  This is an unfair stereotype based on a small percentage of loudmouths making us all look bad.  Coming down on all Christians as being hypocritical and judgmental then becomes just as hypocritical and judgmental on the other side. Christians have been persecuted around the world for over 2,000 years now, something that doesn’t seem like it will end any time soon.

This post isn’t about taking sides.  There should not be sides.  This post is to encourage love.  We will all be judged eventually…by God.  Let’s let Him take care of it and just do as we have been commanded by Him to do, and love one other.

It’s nobody’s business, but here goes…

After my two most recent posts, I noticed this, my very first post, popping up in my stats again and I had to reread it because I’d forgotten it. God has a sense of humor.

caverns of my mind

There is an imaginary rule book, no, wait- an engraved stone out there that “they” wrote.  Nobody knows who “they” are and nobody questions the rules on the imaginary stone tablet.  Why not?  And don’t you dare go and break one of these sacred rules, or you’ll be viewed as weird or different.  After all, if we were meant to be different, we would have each popped out of our mothers’ bellies with our own individualized rule book in hand.  I, for one, am declaring the need to throw out this archaic book and write a new one!

As young children, we are raised on great old stories of princesses, castles, Prince Charming, and happily-ever-after.  There’s nothing wrong with this idea… I could be a princess, and even pretend as though I couldn’t survive without Prince Charming, if he was charming enough.  I always had a problem with the…

View original post 899 more words

My Words as Weapons: Time for some good news

Since I just launched my second book, my blog has been heavily concentrated in author related content, meaning I’ve neglected my other purpose of spreading awareness about human trafficking.   Sometimes getting caught up in the mire of that topic can become a heavy weight, and I just wanted to think happier thoughts for a while.

Here we are, smack in the middle of the 2014 World Cup. I enjoy soccer and have been watching quite a few of the games, trying not to think about the implications of so many men gathered in one place for a month long sporting event in a country that is already one of the worst as far as the sex trade on human trafficking is concerned. So I thought I might write about this, but then I remembered that I covered that concept already back at the time of the Super Bowl, and I thought, Maybe I could bring some happy news once.

And so, this time I share, not my own words as weapons, but an encouraging story that shows that if people, groups, governments work together, we can free people.

This is one link that came to me through my subscription to the Trafficking Report offered by traffickinghope.org

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/23/fbi-trafficking-sex-children/11271829/

My Words as Weapons: Man Up!

real men

A new trend had developed, and it’s stupid!  More and more men in today’s society are using the excuse that they don’t have time or money to invest in developing relationships with women, so they would rather just “pay for play.”  It’s easier for them to use the working girls who are guaranteed to put out.   They are tired of taking girls out on expensive dates and “not getting any” even after a first date.  The creepy part is that those men were already trying to buy their women even before they decided to give up and move on to prostitutes.  They have a demeaning view of women in the first place and have basically decided that respecting a woman and truly taking the time to get to know her is work, while they really only want sex anyway.  Perhaps they are victims of our demanding society. I read this quote from a random john in the book I’ve been reading (The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy it):

“I grew up in the age of fast food and hi-speed internet.  I want sex NOW. Not in weeks, months? Years?!”

Who is to blame in this case, the johns or society for feeding this with the need for instant gratification at all times?  Deep down humans were all created for relationships, so this way of thinking is a perversion to the natural order of life.  And once men begin to do this, their outlooks are forever tainted and altered because the reality of relationships becomes askew.

Some men have been hurt in relationships and feel it’s safer for them to purchase sex and live out a fantasy with the women they buy.  Seriously, relationships take time and sometimes they hurt. To these men I want to say: Man up already and deal with this thing we realists call life! Sorry about your broken heart, but it happens to everyone. You live, you love, you lose, you learn, you move on. You don’t shut yourself off and just start buying people. That’s ridiculous.  That person you’re buying has feelings and emotions too and you are now victimizing her because of your selfishness and inability to deal with rejection. Sure, the one you pay for won’t reject you, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t repulsed by you just the same.

This outlook of pay for play, this mongering, needs to be addressed and stopped. Perhaps the increased number in broken homes, thus a lack of relationship modeling, combined with our society’s need for immediate gratification have led to this, but education can still lead us back. Spread the word.

 

My Words as Weapons: Giving Back

I read, or heard, or somehow picked up an idea recently.  Apparently there is something in the Talmund that says that each person must think from a position that the world was an elaborate gift/creation given only for him or her.  At first that seems oddly selfish, but the idea is really anything but selfish.  This perspective is meant to create a sense of responsibility for making the world, this special gift, a better place so that each resident here on Earth will always strive to make a difference.

I think that’s a marvelous idea!

Helping-Hands

People can take this to mean we need to take better care of our natural resources in this world, and so trees are being planted and better sources of energy are being researched and implemented.  All of that is great, because I do believe God wants us to take care of what he has given us.

He also gave us another, invaluable resource: each other, and we must learn to take care of one another better. We must stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. People are resources and we all have our place in this world. Some have strayed far from their purpose, and still others have had their purpose stolen away from them through the cruelty of those who strayed.

We need to break that cycle and begin a new one. The “pay it forward” idea is not new.  If somebody does something for you, receive it as a blessing and find a way to bless the next person.  If you see someone oppressed, reach out to give him or her freedom, and in turn that person will help free others.

I hate to see injustice and I feel human trafficking is just about the worst atrocity out there. Although I am not always in a position to take physical action against it, I do my best to spread the word and create awareness so that people who are in a position to take physical action can do so.  You don’t have to swoop into brothels and pull out children or work in a safe house where survivors are rehabilitated to be “fighting.”  Use your words as weapons and help spread the word on the injustice of human trafficking, and any other injustice out there you know about.  When you do that, you are helping.  You are giving back. Learn to do what you can, but don’t do nothing.

My Words as Weapons: Olenka’s Story

As mentioned a few “My Words as Weapons” posts back, I am reading Victor Malarek’s The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It, a troubling read indeed. On pages 27-28 (yep, that’s about as far as my anger has allowed me to read so far) Malarek retells a story of Olenka who was a sex slave at a bar in Bosnia at the age of seventeen. Many of her “clients” were soldiers an UN peacekeepers.

Yes, there is a sick irony that those who were to protect and “keep the peace” were the ones raping Olenka and the other girls at the bar.  It’s just another horror of a sex slave’s life.  Who do they have to turn to?

They are alone.

They are forgotten.

They are abUSED.

And to most of the men who do it, these women are less than human.  Because if they allow the women to be anything more, these johns will know they are the monsters hiding under those girls’ metaphorical beds.

Olenka’s story reminded me of a movie I watched, and knowing it is based on a true story, I can only hope it’s the same story and not just another incident of the same abomination.  If you ever feel like getting angry, watch The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz.