Really, does that sound like a hippie to you?
To tell you the truth, all the aforementioned qualities describe me to a T- and if you know me personally, would you honestly say that I'm a hippie even in light of these qualities? Most wouldn't; but lately I've been hearing the term "hippie" being tossed around more and more in my presence, and it's usually directed at me. I finally began to wonder why a few people were referring to me as such- and when I asked, they said, "Well, you're all 'Free the slaves, No sweatshops, Stop the traffick, Peace and love!'"
That threw me off a little bit.
In this day and age, I find it really sad that as soon as someone starts to care about issues that are outside of any materialistic bubble, a select few immediately brand them as "hippies" or "dreamers" or even "a reminder of liberals from the 60's." Ridiculous! What a twisted culture we must have, to think that someone who cares about and fights towards freedom for others is an oddball. The self-centeredness of the world today is shown through these comments and assumptions.
But they're halfway right, if nothing else- I definitely don't consider myself a "hippie," but I do feel a growing passion for human rights. And I bet if you did a little research, you would understand why I'm becoming more and more on fire for anti-slavery and anti-trafficking campaigns.
Let's consider the fact that 27 million people, women, children, and men, are currently in slavery- that's more than double the amount of slaves during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Let us also consider the estimation that every two minutes, one child is sold into sexual exploitation alone [that's not even considering other adults sold for other trades]. People all around the world, even in the United States, are being threatened, beaten, and forced into manual labor or a sex trade.
The type of trade that hits closest to my heart [although all slavery churns my stomach with injustice] is the trafficking of children for sex exploitation. You've heard of how rough and horrendous the experience is for rape victims- imagine how horrible it must be for a child prostitute who has to cater to customers from other countries, who can have an average of 8 customers a day, and who have to continue to deal with the ramifications throughout their lives. Some children get pregnant and then are forced to have abortions; others contract disease and, once diagnosed, are thrown out on the streets, rendered useless by their owners.
In the Bible it says that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. It breaks my heart to think that I have a baby sister in Cambodia who has to feel the touch of horrible naked adults every single day, and she can't do anything to help herself.
One girl who was freed from sexual exploitation a few years ago recalled, "I was in slavery for three years; and for two years, I never saw the light of day. My owners kept me in the dark in a brothel, back in the seedy part of a city in Cambodia."
If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will.
I'm not writing this post to scare you, or guilt you into donating a truckload of money to an anti-slavery movement. I'm not trying to do that at all. The purpose of this particular post is to show you why I'm becoming more and more vocal about human rights and to raise awareness in the community. The first step to abolishing slavery is raising awareness- the more people that have injustice brought to their attention, the bigger effect we'll have when we being to take larger steps toward freedom.
I can tell you right now that this won't be the last post I write about slavery. This is a real issue, and it needs to be stopped. Too many people today think that slavery was abolished when the North won the Civil War- but that's all too untrue.
If you would like to know more about anti-slavery movements, here are a few links to some sites you can check out: