We evacuated for the hurricane last week, and it was a busy but fun week visiting with family and friends while we waited anxiously to hear how our home and our friends in South Louisiana were doing.
Our home was fine, nothing but some limbs down in the backyard. From what the neighbors report, we didn't even lose power for long at all, maybe half an hour. I'm still glad that we made an escape because it would have been quite stressful hiding out in the house for days with two babies, worrying through the storm.
Many that we know were not so fortunate, as it seems that there was severe flooding in all directions around us. This has been our first big hurricane since moving to Louisiana, and I hope we don't see another one for a long time yet.
I did finish reading "Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade", and I really hope that you have had a chance to read it, too. It's hard to summarize such a weighty book, and the book itself is a summary of what's going on all over the world and the various individuals and organizations that are out there fighting for the freedom of the voiceless. However, for those who may not have have a chance to read the whole book, I want to share some statistics and practical modes of action I learned from reading this book.
"The commerce in human beings today rivals drug trafficking and the illegal arms trade as the top criminal activity on the planet." p4
"UN surveys [in 2004] found 700,000 children forced into domestic labor in Indonesia alone, with staggering numbers as well in Brazil (559,000), Pakistan (264,000), Haiti (250,000), and Kenya (200,000)." p7
"A research study revealed that close to 35 percent of Vietnamese families living in Cambodia sell a daughter into the sex trade..." p23
"Forced labor is most prevalent in five sectors of the U.S. economy: prostitution and sex services, domestic service, agriculture, sweatshop/factory work, and restaurant and hotel work" p214
- The book has detailed lists of signs of forced labor to watch for, as well as where to look for it and what to do if you suspect someone is being forced to work against his/her will.
---- Ok, I can't take anymore, and after the numbers get so big our eyes start to glaze over and we can't comprehend it all anyway. The main thing to realize is that this slavery issue is huge, it's current, and it's unacceptable.
Here are some inspiring reminders that we are all called to this fight:
"Making a stand against injustice generally requires us to make some painful personal choices" p185 -Living the life of an abolitionist will call us to live a life and make some sacrifices that may not be considered normal.
"There are times to read history, and there are times to make history. We live right now at one of those epic moments in the fight for human freedom. We not longer have to wonder how we might respond to our moment of truth. It is we who are on the stage, and we can change the winds of history with our actions. Future generations will look back to judge our choices and be inspired or disappointed." p 17
"I believe in the power of individuals to save the world. Social movements take root and blossom when enough individuals take personal action." (Conclusion, p1)
Well, that's both sad and inspiring, but I really can't read the book right now, and I don't see what I could do to make a difference anyway. (don't you like how I put words in my readers' mouth, sometimes? Really I'm just saying what I would say if I were you.)
Well, I recommend two things. First, get a copy of the book for later when you can read it. Second. Go ahead and just read the last chapter and conclusion. These are full of practical ideas for everyone from athletes to business owners to construction workers. We can all use our circle of influence (which is larger than ever now due to social media) to spread awareness about this crisis.
Ok, I know you already likely have a list of books in your mind of books you want to read someday. If you're like me, the list is probably miles long. I understand if you just can't get to it right now. So, here's a nifty list of resources that were given and explained in the conclusion of the book.
You're welcome. :)
A map of documented cases of human trafficking in the U.S.
Created in partnership with the Labor Rights Forum. Use this to research your favorite companies before you buy anything else from them and see if they are using ethical manufacturing practices. They have a phone app!!
Not For Sale Academy
If you are really interested in building a vocation around the abolitionist movement, look this one up. It's a great idea for those who are not tied down or are looking for their next big step, like college graduates.
These are totally free and are a great way to get students (both college and high school/junior high) informed and passionate about becoming abolitionists.
This is the first Sunday of Lent each year, and more information about hosting a Freedom Sunday at your church can be found at the website listed above.
This is a Facebook app. Athletes or Sports teams can pledge to donate a certain amount of money for each point scored/mile run/game won etc. They can sign up for sponsors or plan to donate the money themselves.
I'm not much of a sports fan, but I could definitely get into a game knowing that every point scored goes to support an amazing cause!
Check out the Not For Sale website for more information about this, as well.
If you still haven't found your niche, go to www.notforsalecampaign.org and poke around until you find something that works for you. Try replacing some of your Pinterest or Facebook time with this website, maybe? Yes, I just stepped on my own toes with that comment. :)
Ok, I've said this a few times already, but you really, seriously need to read this book. It will change the way you see so many things and put so many of life's little issues into perspective.
Ok, so go buy it.