Thursday, February 3, 2011

You're not suffering alone...



Check out this video about the multimillion-dollar industry, the sex trade. The speaker is Sunitha Krishna who is fighting against the sex trade, and rescued thousands of girls.  Help make a difference.


Once in awhile I'll sign into Facebook to be flooded with people's rantings about how awful their life is because they found out that their boyfriend/girlfriend has dumped them for someone else, or long dramatic soliloquies (I think Facebook caught on and  that's why statuses cannot exceed 420 characters, should be less though) about how lonely, unloved, and neglected they are and yes, people, the world is surely going to end because nothing is going right for me. I have nothing against people exercising their rights to pour their souls out to the world, after all it may just be their much needed outlet, and we need one sometimes, even if it takes the form of Facebook. However, what bothers me is the insignificance of their complaints in comparison to the many abominations circulating the world. It's for this reason I chose to recommend several books that delve into some of humanity's most heinous crimes.

Slavery continues in the Sudan, villages raided and burned down, little girls raped and sold into domestic slavery and permanently separated from their loved ones (Read Slave: My True Story by Damien Lewis and Mende Nazer). Move right along to the degradations women (for instance in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand)  endure as they're sold into prostitution, at times by their own family. Their daily existence consists of being beaten to the point of death, being raped by toothless smelly men, fearing the onset of AIDS and other sexual diseases, and other atrocities. Mind you, some of these girls haven't reached puberty yet. ( Read The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam). How about little girls--in places like Yemen--at the age of 10, sometimes younger, being forced to marry a man 20 or 30 years older, taken away from their family, unable to escape because they'll dishonor their families, left to uphold ancient traditions even if it means nightly rapes and beatings from their husband, when all these little girls want to do is go outside and play? Nujood Ali was ten years old when she was married and divorced in 2008. (Read Nujood Ali, age 10 and divorced). What about those children that live in a household that should be full of warmth and love, and instead are threatened with knives, thrown into a bath of bleach, maybe prostituted off, drugged,  for the selfish gains of others (Read  Invisible Tears by Abigail Lawrence). Even on my island, the year has barely begun and we have had four homicides. Then recently the case continues circulating the gruesome murder of Zahra Baker, a  beautiful ten-year-old, disabled girl who battled cancer, wore a prosthetic leg, and was not only killed but dismembered. Pause for a minute and change your focus. Why not make a difference in someone's life?

Then there are those who do not complain despite blindness, autism, and other disabilities. Instead, somehow, they manage to channel a greater force and become a musical savant, like Rex (Read Rex by Catheleen Lewis).

 In comparison to the nefarious acts taking place around the world, count your blessings and make the most of your situation. At times emotions cloud your mind and, thus, your ability to think clearly. It takes a very disciplined individual to be able to control a meltdown, and sometimes, honestly, you need that breakdown to release a battalion of emotions. Sometimes you tell yourself, "I know people have it worse, but I just can't ignore my feelings. This hurts." And yet at times you have to stop and realize that your bickering isn't going to bring about an apocalypse. Life will go on. Just keep moving forward. Relax, read something funny, and get a grip of your emotions, or read inspiring stories...just DO something instead of wallowing in self pity.

Want to make a difference, raise awareness, or learn more? I won't list every possible link. But here's just a couple to get you started:

http://www.somaly.org/slavery  - Learn about Modern-day slavery and prostitution and what you can do to help.
http://www.mendenazer.org/en/content/author-mende-nazer -more on Modern-day slavery


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Sand-Dollared Cataract by Sofia Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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