Jason Mraz posted today to promote help for organizations who are trying to end the underground slave trade that still survives in our society. I was going to just make a short comment on his blog post as I usually do, but I ended up writing so much I figured I'd post it here instead for anyone caring to read all that verbage. I don't like to fill up his comments with really long dissertations of my thoughts.
So the original post he made is HERE.
I put the first two paragraphs below in his comments, with a link back to here in case some wanted to read ALL my thoughts. I guess if you're not a fan of Mraz's blog, it's best to read his post before reading the rest of mine so you're not lost!
My complete reply is:
I agree with you, Jason, that education is so important - through education the slave trade will end itself. I believe it's better to get at the root of the problem to stop the growth, rather than simply alleviate the symptoms.
I am grateful for people who have the resources to do both - support education, AND support those willing to reach into the fire to extract the souls that may truly desire change - those that request help in switching directions on the path they're walking and then follow through. Thank you for being you and for using your voice wisely. :)
I know this will probably not be a popular opinion, but the girls that were "rescued" had a choice in the beginning to walk away from anything the pimps may have offered them. Why didn't they? I don't believe anyone enslaves anyone else. I believe people allow themselves to be enslaved, and then get in so deep they need help to get back out. It's like falling in a hole.
After reading/watching/hearing so much research on why people make "bad" choices, I have formed an opinion that perhaps it's a reaction to fear. Fear of lack, fear of non-survival, fear of non-acceptance from society. Except what our society doesn't really teach us in school is that we are not the ONLY society on this planet - our money-based lifestyle is not the only way to survive, and indeed is not even necessarily the "best" way (if there is one). There are plenty of indigenous cultures that live close to the Earth, without money, and they survive just fine (if we'd quit being such mega-land consumers!), and they are generally happier, more disease-free, and more balanced in their minds than our society is. Imagine that. The only reason our society doesn't see it this way is because they are different from us, and we have become intolerant to those that are labeled "different." So when people in our society turn to things like drugs or prostitution thinking this will fix their lives or their money problems, is it because they fear living closer to the Earth? Do they fear being different? Are they fearful of non-acceptance from the rest of our money-ridden society? Do they think they won't survive at all?
Fear is the disease. Gratitude is the cure. In the meantime, education promotes healing. Just my opinion.
To alleviate fear, I apply education. Book learning and internet research is great, but nothing beats real world experience. If you can't get real world experience, guess what? Imagination works just as well and sometimes even brings new things into existence! :) Experiencing how other societies live, learning what's good (or not) for your body & mind, knowing what practices promote health and which tear it down and then actually having the self-esteem to DO the things that make you happy and say no thanks to the things that lead down a fear-filled path - I wish that with a healthy dose of imagination for EVERYONE on Earth.
When I look at things like slave trade - or people we label as criminals in general - from another perspective, I find I am grateful to those folks because they show me a path I do NOT want to go down. They are the signposts that say "Here, there be dragons." (And seriously? When did dragons get such a bad reputation? Maybe they were just misunderstood! :) I've had some unfortunate experiences with criminals... I'm not saying it's fun, I'm saying if you lose, don't lose the lesson. Often I find the reason people have put on their victim t-shirt and continued spreading a negative story is because they forget to find what they wanted to learn from the experience, therefore they keep drawing negative experiences to themselves. There are no victims on our globe. We all have free will and we all make choices that affect our path. Even as children. Our choice may be as simple as deciding to change perspectives. Once I see any "bad" experience I may have from a learning perspective, it's easier to tuck away the knowledge and move on in my life to something better and happier.
Personally I believe God (or whatever label you choose) only sends us angels. Some of them are dark angels, but they are all angels nonetheless. Criminals are dark angels AND they serve a great purpose to those of us not wanting to walk their path. They help remind us to stay focused instead on happiness. I am so grateful for that.
Everyone has the capacity to think like this. They only need to be shown that there is more than one path to choose from. That's where education comes in. :)
Again - just my two pesos.