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Tag Archives: modern day slavery

My Words as Weapons: A Reminder

My hand from last year's Shine a Light on Slavery Day

My hand from last year’s Shine a Light on Slavery Day

Tomorrow is the day to join the End It Movement and place a red X on your hand to help create awareness for human trafficking, which is actually modern day slavery.  I don’t have much that is new to say on the subject right now. Actually, just the other day a gentleman from church was talking to me about my blog (I had forgotten that the blog address is part of my email signature and I had sent out an email in regard to an event the church was taking part it and he had linked to it from there) and mentioned that he especially found my posts on human trafficking to be interesting.

This is awesome because it means I’m doing something right!

So I thought back to some of the posts I have made on the subject and I decided perhaps it was time to collect them into one pace and share it in time for Shine a Light on Slavery Day.  If you find any of these to be informative, interesting, or just heartbreaking or maddening enough to want to help, wear a red X on your hand tomorrow and share my post(s).

Awareness is a start.

Here are some of my past human trafficking posts:

To Love… (the fundraiser has long since ended, but the other content still applies)

Let Freedom Ring!

Human Beings are NOT Commodities

Hope Lies in Creating Ripples

All Men are Created Equal…All

Anyone Can Make a Change

Stop it BEFORE it Happens

Stand in the Gap and Fight Injustice

Righteous Anger

How Words Shape our Perspectives

Armed for Battle

The Unnerving Rising Number

Creepy American Tourists

Joining the Fight with Others

Super Bowl Trafficking

Righteous Anger

I’ve been caught up in the world of marketing my book, because that is a never-ending process, but looking back over my recent posts, I realize that I’ve lost sight here of a big part of who I am, or who I want to be anyway.

One reason I left teaching, aside from wanting more time to write and promote my book, was to be a better person and to reach out to the broken in various ways.  I was so closed off.  I do not have much of a resource of money to give, but I can give of myself, which I feel is more rewarding anyway.  Instead of writing a check or donating online for a cause, I like to actually meet the people I am helping, or at least to feel like I am physically doing something.  I did this recently on a mission trip to Guatemala and while I worked at a local food pantry.  I enjoy this sort of activity because I feel like I am doing good with my time.  Of course I know I am not going to change the world alone, but I like being a part of the bigger picture.

Human trafficking, modern day slavery, is the specific area where I wish to help make a difference.  With numbers like 27 million people worldwide being enslaved, it seems like a hopeless fight.  But we must have hope.  And if enough people have hope, we can work together, for the bigger picture, and bring this evil to an end.

Because I live in a small town, I do not really see the effects of human trafficking close to me in my daily life, so I try to keep this injustice in front of me.  I follow various organizations that work to fight it and I research it, keeping it in the front of my mind and weighing heavily on my heart.  I try to imagine myself or people I love living through these atrocities, because that makes me angry.  I know it’s not good to go through life angry, but sometimes anger is a good thing.  Righteous anger keeps us focused on what we need to change.  When that anger brings us to action, we see hope and change, even if only in small ways.  It brings me joy in the middle of the sadness, because a difference can be made, even if just one life at a time.

Again, one reason I left teaching was to pursue a way to make more of a difference in this area.  I recently found this quote:

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

– Frederick Buechner

To me, this is hopeful.  I love being able to reach out and make a difference.  I find gladness in that.  I also find gladness in writing.  Perhaps my writing is one small way I can incite and inspire action and change in the world’s deep hunger of healing for the people currently struggling with enslavement.  More to come on this.

Stand in the Gap and Fight Injustice

It seems I’ve abandoned my blog for long enough.  My writing time (the little of it I have) has been going into the sequel for my Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl book, but with my passion being freedom for all (ending human trafficking), it seems appropriate to honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

Technically, slavery had been abolished in the US and black people were living “free” lives when MLK stood up for their Civil Rights.  But he wouldn’t have had to do that if they were truly living in equality.  Through his nonviolent protests, massive marches, bus boycotts, and eloquent words, King sought to make people see that injustice still existed even if they were no longer the property of others. And he gained attention and respect for his efforts (obviously not by all since he was slain).  He could have stood by silently and watched and hoped for change.  Certainly people were aware of the injustice taking place.  But people easily become complacent, and often we think “surely someone else will stand in the gap for change.”  If we all think that way, no one will ever become the catalyst that makes the difference.

Fortunately, King was not content to stand idly by, and eventually others began to stand in the gap with him, and though there was opposition, change did occur.

There comes a time when we must take a look at the world around us, at the injustices and the cruelty, and decide if we are willing to become a catalyst for change, or to allow suffering to continue while we pretend we do not see it.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maybe you were not aware of the slavery still taking place around our world, and in our own country.  After all, people have been ignoring it for some time now.  But it’s a growing industry, and lags behind only the drug trade for illegal profit, yet it continues to grow and gain.  After all, the services these modern day slaves are forced to give can be purchased again and again, while drugs are a one time deal.  Services over consumable products.

With somewhere around 27 million human beings enslaved worldwide, it is time more people begin to stand in the gap as catalysts for change.  Now that you know (and you cannot unknow the truth), spread the word in order to create awareness.  The more people really know and understand the injustice that is happening, the the more people will become eager to fight to stop it.

Many wonderful organizations exist.  Find one you want to support, one you can join with in the fight.

“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and the righteousness like a mighty stream.'”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some of the wonderful organizations out there fighting against and creating awareness of human trafficking:

Love 146, Not for Sale, Shared Hope International,A21 Campaign, International Justice Mission, Somaly Mam Foundation

There are so many more.  Please find one close to you and plug in.  Nobody should be property.

All Men were Created Equal… All

The Declaration of Independence was written specifically to dissolve the relationship “the Colonies” had with Great Britain due to the tyrannical acts of George III, and the result was the birth of this great free nation we now call the United Stated of America.  We all know, or should know that from history class.  However, freedom and independence, for which many sacrificed and died to secure for us, should not be ideas only we can enjoy, but should be the general consideration of human beings to each other, everywhere.

No, the irony that Thomas Jefferson, the writer of this great document which gives us this day to celebrate our freedom, owned slaves is not lost on me.  He was a complex man, and though he owned several slaves, he actually was against slavery and wanted it to be abolished.  I remember learning something once about his attacking Great Britain for its support of the slave trade in an earlier draft of the Declaration, but it was removed at the request of Georgia and South Carolina, I believe.  It is likely that the reason he was unable to free his slaves was because of personal debt which had to be paid off before he could free them, though many were freed before his death.  Say what you will about this man, after all, his life and character have been hotly debated for a few centuries now, but he did pen these famous and treasured words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

If you read it again, you will notice the words “all men.”  The Creator endowed these rights, so they really go beyond our governments anyway, right?  Who will declare independence and freedom for those enslaved today all over the world (including in our own “free country”)?  This isn’t something we need to depend solely on our world governments to do, though that would be a huge help; this is something we can all do, even in little acts.

This is not meant to make any Americans feel guilty as we celebrate our freedom today.  By all means, grill hotdogs and hamburgers (tofu burgers if you really want, since it is a free country and all), eat apple pie, and light fireworks or just watch them on display, while you savor the moments with your family and friends.  We have those rights, and we should be proud and thankful for what we have.

I just ask that you take a moment to remember with me, there are about 27 million people around the world, and a surprising number of them hidden right here in our free nation, who are not themselves free, but are enslaved to a tyrannical power which is using them and exploiting them.  Human trafficking is modern day slavery.  Spread the word.  Find an organization to support.  Let’s help declare freedom for those who are enslaved and do not have voices of their own in which to do so.

Happy Birthday to the United States of America!  I am proud to be an American and I will use my free voice to spread the word about those who are not.