I want to thank my friend Ruby for bringing to my attention a wonderful idea on a very tragic subject. The idea all bloggers joining together today and write posts on abuse. Write on any sort of abuse, child, spousal even drug abuse. The idea being increasing awareness may and hopefully is at least a small step towards ending the abuse. Any action is better than no action. I hope and pray more public awareness brings about some good.
I read Ruby’s post this morning and I admit I was shocked. I, like I am sure most others are aware or at least imagine there is a lot of abuse in the sex trade. But to hear women and children are actually being sold into slavery to work in the sex trade even in countries such as the United States, blew my mind. I live in Canada and wish I could now say with any belief that such a thing could never happen here, but I can only imagine it does. SLAVERY IN THIS DAY AND AGE, unimaginable. I just can’t fathom the inhumanity some can show to others.
I hold firmly to my belief in my own statistics, 90% of the population is made up of good decent people, often facing terrible hardships, but doing their best to raise their families and get through each day. I have said there is about 5% that are just true Earth Angels, but I really think that number is closer to 10-15%. Sadly that does leave that remaining 5% that to word it politely are just plain jerks and are in fact lucky that it is not I that is sentencing them to prison, when they eventually end up in a court of law.
There are so many terrible things happening in the world, that when you hear of them it just makes you feel ill to your stomach. To many it may already seem the world is beyond repair. The savagery, the brutality it seems endless and can seem hopeless. It would be so easy to just throw up your arms in general disgust and feel it has all gotten so bad there is just nothing I can do.
That is the easy thing to do the quick answer to ourselves. Thinking to ourselves, there is just nothing I can do, this mess is far beyond my control, so why bother even trying. I have my own live to live and that is hard enough, let the rest of the world take care of themselves. Really, an understandable human response.
This is the very time we can’t loose sight of the big picture. The world is full of good people with kind generous good hearts. I love making up my own statistics and I know at least 95% of the world population would love to end all abuse, all cruelty, wars, famine all of the problems that seem to plague our world. Some how the vast silent majority has in many ways given in to the small minority. How did that happen and why to we allow it to continue? It is good to recognize and talk about a problem but what are we going to do about it, talk alone won’t do it.
I heard a quote for a supervisor of mine at one time: “One definition of insanity could be continually doing the same thing over and over and each time being disappointed when the end result doesn’t come out differently.” That makes so much sense, if we stop to think of it. If we all just sit back and do nothing differently how can we realistically expect anything to change.
I as an individual, can I realistically expect to bring about great world change, no. But as an individual I can work to bring changes for the better within myself, my family and maybe even my community. We all see it, we all talk about it things have to change, if we want to bring about any change, be it in our own lives or in the world, we have to change or attitudes and actions.
I know and recognize many are already doing what they can and personally I thank you and applaud you. Every step forward is a step forward no matter how small it may seem. While I am working on improving myself, my family and possibly my community, possibly a simple phone call to various levels of government, demanding change. Politicians love their jobs and to keep them will work to bring change if that is what is demanded by their voters. Lets bring the changes needed everywhere.
I pose a direct question to everyone that may choose to read this. Have you ever supported the abuse of others? I am sure many will immediately respond, well not knowingly, fair enough. I ask you this, what is it you are doing when you purchase any consumer goods that may have been produced in the sweat shops I hear of. Places, where people are abused terribly, taken advantage of because of circumstance. I can’t think of any product lines off hand but I do know these sweat shops exist. By buying these products aren’t we giving that company that manufactured them our support and there by supporting their treatment of employees.
There is such a great need for change in our world, it can be done. I hope and pray everyone will share my thought “let it begin with me”
Hi Bill, Abuse is a terrible thing, and it happens in so many ways. Sexual, physical, mental abuse (where you can’t see the bruises on the outside, but they are there on the inside).
There is this rumour going around our little town that a very big business man is a pedaphile, but people seem to think he is harmless as he goes to thailand and other poor countries, where unfortuanately families have their young children out working in the sex industry. So seeing as he is not here hurting any Australian children, it is ok that he goes to thailand and takes a 7 or 8 year old girl, maybe even younger, because he paid for it, and that is what they do. I am disgusted by it. I don’t care which bloody country he does it in, I don’t care if he paid for it or not, the fact of the matter is that he has taken a young child, who is probably scared stiff and used and abused her for the sake of her being able to put food on her families table and him to get his thrills. This infuriates me, and I personally wouldn’t trust him within 10 foot of my children, but how do I stop it. There is no known fact that he has hurt a child in my town, as everyone says he goes overseas to get “his fix”. How can I stop that. Everyone who lives in my town that has been born and bread I have asked if they have heard the stories, and they are like, “oh yeah, he just goes overseas and gets his fix then comes home. The only thing I have really done is stop using his business. I do not go there, do not recommend people to go there etc. etc. I don’t know if I am just hoping for him to go broke and maybe can’t afford the trips etc, but at the end of the day, everyone seems to know about it, and they still keep letting him run a very successful company. this annoys me as it may be another country, but there is no way in hell I would put my children at risk to put food on the table and I feel for the poor littlies that have to. But it always comes to the question, “What can I do about it”, especially when he is such a high business man here in my town, and “What can I do about it, when it is done in another country”? All I want to do when I see him is spit on him. I know that sounds disgusting, but people turn a blind eye to him because he is not hurting our children. How do you stop that.
Hi, Bill 🙂 This was a wonderfully thought out post on a very complex subject, and every positive thought and action and attitude in the ‘right’ direction helps. And I loved the way you closed it. “Let it begin with me…” Much like the words of Gandhi!
Hi Bill, yes, it is an evil thing this abuse – and there is SO much of it going on everywhere, all the time. As for “have we ever supported abuse of others”, yes, we probably all have whether knowingly or unknowingly, in the retail sector most probably! We have a clothing store in my city, relatively new, extremely cheap, good products..it has become the no.1 store in the city for sales performance and I suspect the source products are from parts of the world where abuse is proliferate…and yet I know many other stores doing exactly the same thing and they would have no suspicion cast upon them…so what do you do? Is it unreasonable to analyse the working practices of everything we do? Very difficult!
Thanks for a great post Bill! Hope Vi is ok…
Thanks for the topic. I would have to say that yes, in the past I have done so. These days I am more careful to try and just by American made products and things like fair trade coffee and eat foods that are grown locally – in places I drive by and can stop and see how they’re grown.
As far as Jo Hart’s questions…on my blog are links to several organizations who are working to stop the sorts of consumer sex tourism/trade that was mentioned. There are ways to get involved. Perhaps there is nothing you can do about that man in your town but there are ways to help those in other countries – for sure! The more we learn about these things and inform ourselves , the more we are able to help…even where we thought there was nothing we could do. There is always something we can do.
Peace and activism.
~ RS ~
Very thought provoking. I reallky liked this post. If we all banded together against abuse. Where do we begin? I want in. I hate cruelty of any form. Mean people are my biggest pet peeve. I often ponder these very questions you aked right now. How can we stop these things from happening? ~nita~
I heard a woman speak one time about that sex trade in Nepal and how there is actually a ministry growing for the men who commit these crimes. At first I was angry because I didn’t want there to be compassion for such grotesque individuals, but soon realized that they are broken people who need Jesus SO badly. I’ve experienced abuse in my life but now I choose to pray for these people with all I’ve got instead of harboring it inside.
I do much the same as RubyS does, and am careful as to what I buy, American made only, and eat locally grown products, etc.
We should never just sit back and say we can’t do anything, because each one of us can do something to help prevent abuse…it doesn’t take money, just a small bit of time.
I stopped shopping at Walmart, even though it is literally a quarter mile from my home, open 24 hours, and has the least expensive groceries in town. This may sound insignificant, but when I think about the amount of money that they will not be receiving from me over the remainder of my lifetime, it’s no small potatoes. I made this decision after learning about multiple layers of abuse inflicted onto this monster company’s employees, their families, and the environment. (Not to mention older issues with sweatshop products!) I define their ridiculous pay scale, weak health plans, and selectively limited opportunity for real promotion as abuse. The level (awfully low) of customer service in regards to energy and attitude from front line employees in the store is a dead giveaway.
One more thought: I totally agree with your statistical theory about people. It seems like almost everything that we do day in and day out includes preparation against possible crime/abuse. We automatically lock and bolt doors, leave lights on, hold car keys defensively, etc. and pray to god that nothing happens. I now have a young child and it scares me to death to imagine all the horrific posibilities. But, as I have said to folks who respond to the idea of parenthood with “it’s such a scary world, I don’t know if I even want to bring someone into it,” another way of looking at it is that I have the opportunity to bring another GOOD person into the world. And you never know the impact of just one good individual.
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Bill, I think that we need to learn to live joyfully in community–Thich Nhat Hanh has the best instructions that I know of…check plumvillage.org for his Mindfulness Trainings…here are The Five Mindfulness Trainings…there are also fourteen more.
The First Training: Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking and in my way of life.
The Second Training: Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I vow to practice generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on earth.
The Third Training: Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct.
The Fourth Training: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord; or words that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
The Fifth Training: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body and my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and the transformation of society.
As always, warm blessings, Sandy
I’m sorry I missed out on this blogging event. I have posted a lot on abuse in the past(my personal and that of others). I have a link on my blog to Mary’s Hope, an interdenominational organization for the promotion of spiritual healing from child abuse. It’s based in the US but they have some good reading and other material that can be ordered.