"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
Yesterday I disappeared. As an ever so small effort to honor the 27 million victims of slavery around the world and let their cry be heard, I removed my voice from social media on February 27th. The hope was that instead of drawing attention to whatever it was that I had to say, instead the focus would be on those who are enslaved.
As an experiment on the side, I decided that I’d allow myself to continue being online but only as a silent entity. My voice would be removed. A friends’ Facebook status that I wanted to comment on? That blog post that pulled at my heartstrings or made me laugh and I wanted to talk more about? The sweet photo of my niece that my SIL posted and I wanted to “like”? My thoughts had to go unspoken.
And realistically, I know it’s not important in the scheme of things, there was no hardship or cruelty in it, but it was something that got me thinking about how it feels to be voiceless. If it affected me in a single day just in my online presence, I can’t even fathom how it has a hold on those who are truly silenced through slavery: unable to speak their thoughts, stand up for themselves, or even to express their basic needs.
But today I have my voice and I will speak out, along with so many others.This road to freedom is going to be long and fraught with struggles, but I have hope. The fight will continue, justice will win, right will prevail. And it starts with those baby steps like gaining a new perspective on slavery, reaching out to the homeless, and helping those in need. It grows bit by bit as we make calls to rescue people being abused, we educate children to prevent their capture, we protect and help the victims. Today we speak out for the voiceless, we fight for the weak, we choose to end slavery.
I’ve had several people ask me how they can be involved with fighting human trafficking. Aside from the great folks at Stop The Traffik, International Justice Mission is another great resource, and now there’s the End It Movement that has some of their own justice projects in the works in addition to working with coalition partners around the world. So wherever you are, you can get involved and make a difference! Let’s speak out for those who have been silenced.
*All images are courtesy of http://enditmovement.com/.