Mend These Broken Hearts
[This is a companion post to Totality]
Time. Slavery. I’ve been deeply pondering these two things lately as I insert myself deeper into the fight to end human trafficking. There is no more time. What if this was true? What if tomorrow this society as we know it would implode and crumble? When we look back on how we lived and what we cared about would we be satisfied with ourselves?
I don’t know.
I constantly ask myself and those around me: How can we congratulate ourselves on our technological progress and call ourselves an enlightened society if what we do is create more slaves and suffering beneath us? This is a hard question to confront yourself with because most of us fail to understand how we are all culpable and complicit in the perpetuation of this mode of exploited slavery of others. Many become queasy at the thought that their very lifestyles, their very modes of existence run contrary to building the best society we can. Our philosophies on how we live, how we eat, how we entertain ourselves, how we consume, how we speak of each other, how we perceive the world…everything is out of sync. The majority have given up true freedom to live an existence of mediocrity and self-congratulations. Freedom isn’t just free speech or free expression. Freedom is also having the will to free others and not achieve our own personal freedoms by enslaving others downwards in the system. Please do not mistake this as a bitter rant. It is simply a critical observation and acknowledgement of the current paradigm of our society. I do see great things being achieved, but it is not currently enough.
There are many forms of slavery. My own particular focus is on ending human trafficking and labor/sexual exploitation. When I tell people this, many say that it is a noble endeavor. Do you think this also? I wish for you to think about that. Is what I do truly noble? Or, perhaps, it is simply what must be done. If you have ever raised a child or had to take care of a loved one, is that act of care noble? Do you wake up every morning and say to yourself: Perhaps today I won’t take care of my child or the person I love? Or do you just get up and do it because it needs to be done? It is not a matter of being noble or ignoble. It is simply a matter of acknowledging what must be done no matter what. Defeating slavery and human trafficking is not noble. It needs to be done. And fighting the mere consensus of it being a noble act when talking to people makes it feel like a futile act.
It is exhausting.
I find that in this seemingly endless fight that I am no longer just attacking the systemic, global issue of slavery, but also the systemic, emotional slavery of our hearts. I find I must take up the additional fight of convincing those around me to understand and care. I must expend large amounts of energy simply helping to bring to the upper consciousness and awareness of others that human trafficking is not a small issue, but perhaps the largest human rights issue we have ever had to tackle on a planetary scale. It is right in our own backyards and if you think it isn’t then you live blind and small and in ignorance to the realities of the world. You are blind to your very own existence.
Is that too harsh? Or does it stir you up and make you think? Do you take this personally as an attack or are you able to work outside of a limited framework and see it as an opportunity to challenge your inner world and see in a new way? I hope for the latter. Some ask me to use a softer touch because it take people time to come around. I ask this final question. How long must we wait for you to feel ok to want to participate in ending human trafficking? Let me share an anecdote. A father has a son, but he is off trying to build a legacy and meaningful purpose. He tells his son, I will return when I have achieved the faculties and abilities to give you a good life. He goes off and returns many years later and says to his now grown son, I have returned and I am ready now to be a father to you. The son grew up without the guidance of a father and is broken inside. The father slowly comes to the realization that going off to build a legacy and find meaningful purpose was simply a luxury he took for granted. The most meaningful thing he could have ever achieved in his life was to stay and be a father to his son. This is the meaning of: There is no time to waste. Fight human trafficking and end modern day slavery now. There is no time to waste. I am doing my best not to waste any.
And when I finally have the luxury of taking my final breath, I wish to be able to smile and see those fractured, enslaved hearts around me mended. Free at last.
– Complete Rabbit