Why is it so hard to talk about trafficking? This is something I have been thinking about for a while. Cause it is hard to talk about trafficking. It's hard in so many different and varied ways.
First off, it's hard because I have no desire to gain recognition or fame for standing up for those without a voice. And I keep being assured that's what I need to do. Give the voiceless a voice. And I believe it with all my heart. But also, it makes people look at me. And I want them to look at them, not at me. So that's personally hard.
It's also hard because it feels like no blog, photo, video, talk is ever going to be sufficient to communicate what trafficking really is and how subtle and horrible and huge and scary it is. I watched a few episodes of American Crime a few months ago. It was probably one of the better ways I can think of to really immerse yourself in what it would be like to be someone trafficked from a number of different perspectives. That being said, hug a kid afterward because it is hard. So very very hard.
And I think that's the crux of it. I can't give you a clear picture of everything I have seen without potentially demoralizing you. And if I demoralize you, then I'm not a part of the solution. And trust me, I know how much this topic can be demoralizing. It's like watching a car crash in action. Only it doesn't last a few seconds, it lasts a life time.
In a way I'm so glad that there is dramatic interpretations of trafficking situations coming out. Because it is a huge problem. And people do need to be aware. And sometimes that's easier to follow on a TV drama. But sometimes it's easier to just put it in the made up category when it's on TV too. You know? The reality is just a bit overwhelming for most people.
The reality of the trafficking world is that it's so incomprehensible to the average person. The average person like you or me is never going to want to own another person for any reason. The vast majority of us do not have deviant sexual desires making purchasing a person for sex a tempting idea. Most of us would get to know our workers and so would feel horrible if we knew they were starving or getting sick because we were working them so hard and paying them so little.
So our lives do not encompass this. And that is wonderful. Man, imagine how dark and horrible the world would truly be if every one of us could only imagine the darkness of the world of some of these problems. I also tend to read a lot of books. And I've noticed a trend in the genre that I read. There are some authors who can talk about the darkness and retain hope. And there are other authors who want you to give yourself over to the dark. I think potentially that's the way they see the world....they also potentially need to be better medicated for their life.
I desire to be one of the authors who talks about the dark stuff, but still retains the hope. Because we have to have to look at the problems. We need to know the problems inside and out. Not just a passing intellectual argument's knowledge. We need to feel something when talking about these things. It has to sink down into our hearts and make a difference. But we also can not allow it to rule our hearts. If we don't look well we will operate out of sympathy, our minds will tell us to feel guilty and maybe throw a little bit of resource at the problem.
But when our hearts get a hold of the problems, we develop empathy. We see ourselves reflected in the tears of the mother who has to send her children away so she can work at an unsafe job, with not enough pay, and not enough time to be a mamma. We can say "there but for the grace of God go I" when we see the young girl or boy who gets caught up in dangerous prostitution situations. And we don't judge them for trying to survive in a world that has been trying to tell them they are worthless and only meant for the abuse of others. We can then begin to reject some of the common notions that we just need more and more and more.....without thinking that if I get more often someone else gets less. We even find ourselves having empathy for the middle class farmers who have lost their way and have decided to give in to pressures to underpay and mistreat workers. Because we know they didn't start the problem, they're just caught in the middle of it and have chosen a less than helpful path. Which means we don't need to rally against them, we need to advocate for better buying practice and fairer competitive practice so they can get back on the right path again.
The reality of this world is that for every person you see doing a bad thing, you can look back a generation or two or three and see where the problem actually started. Unless you're dealing with a true psychopath who doesn't have the the ability to feel compassion or empathy. But they are a very small percentage of the population of the world. The majority of us are broken people making bad choices. That means our job in the world is to try to heal it.
We are not God. Individually we can impact very little. But! And it's a huge but, if we all unite together with the intent to heal our world I think we can change things. If we all do our part to look at, wrestle with and then participate in a way that makes sense.....there is hope. We have to have to look at the other side of life, the darker side of life, the nasty parts. Just like wounds on a body that get worse with neglect, the wounds in this world are only getting worse because they're hard to look at. But we have to look. We need to assess. But we do not need to stay there staring. We need to become first responders to the situation. We have to assess the problem and then find where we can be a solution.
For me, I realized I can write, and I can talk to people and I can pick out pretty stuff. So JusticeKiss was born. For you, it might be that you look and you say, I know how to craft petitions & persuasive letters to organizations: advocate. For you it might be that you can look at what you're buying and think about buying a bit less and a bit more quality and only Fair trade : ethical shopper. Maybe you're a wiz at getting people to like your Instagram posts or Facebook posts, so you can pick an organization to promote through your skill: influencer/marketer. You see where I'm going with this? It can be something that is your whole life and work, like me. But it can also be something that just comes naturally to you that you can turn towards the problem and become a solution.
So which solution are you?