"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
There’s so much inspiration in a simple word. It’s like a flame springing up in the darkness and you can just imagine it lighting the way through a dreary night. It’s the final shred of possibility that we cling to when we think all is nearly lost.
My lovely amiga at the blog whatimeant2say invited me to participate in a hope “chain letter” of sorts, for blog posts. And you know I’m all about daydreaming and hopefulness. Hope of adventure, of changing the world, of touching lives, of experiencing more and always more. I practically get all tingly thinking about it. And lately it’s taken on a new look for me.
A few months ago I started partnering with an anti-human trafficking group here in Bellingham called Hope4Justice. Last week, during the Northwest Washington Fair, the Hope4Justice crew set up and manned a booth to build awareness in the community. We wrote up letters to Hershey and Nestle chocolate companies imploring them to stop purchasing their cocoa from plantations in Africa that use forced child labor. These letters were put out to the public and we collected hundreds of signatures. We told people about how runaway kids in our community are being brought in by pimps and prostituted.
We told the truth. And some people didn’t like to hear it. We were raining on their fun family fair day. We were bringing them down with our talk of prostitutes and child slaves, of chocolate and clothing that is tainted with the blood of the innocent. We made them feel hopeless. That wasn’t the point.
Conversely we were thrilled with the response we got from a lot of people. They saw the need, the hurt, and they reached out to help as they could – even if that was only by signing a petition letter. And I think they got the point. We hope for justice.
Human trafficking, and the local domestic minor sex trafficking that happens in my little community, it’s so dark. It’s frightening, especially for parents, for young women like myself who are often the target to become trafficked. There’s something evil and so fearsome about this, and the deeper you dig down the rabbit hole, the more despairing it can be. It feels like that to me a lot. There are days when I’m overwhelmed by the awful stories, the raw statistics, and I feel helpless to stop it all. Days when my heart breaks seeing the pain of others and it’s all I can do to weep. But there’s still the little flame of hope.
Some days it’s only a weak flicker, but other days it roars into a mighty fire. It fills my heart, and the hearts of my friends. It’s a grounded hope, steady and unwilling to die out, give up, or waste away.
Hope has been on my mind much during the past few days. I hope you guys can join me in that hope. Don’t let this human trafficking stuff get you down, let it light your fire. The more I talk about it, sometimes I worry that it will alienate the people I care about. It’s not an easy issue. But it’s not going away by ignoring it. So let’s do something about it. If you need a place to start, I’ll do my best to answer questions.
We can end this. That’s a dangerous daydream if there ever was one. Hoping for justice for all.