In 2005, Thomas Friedman wrote a book called The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. This best-selling book opened our eyes to the increased globalization going on in our world today. No longer in existence are the looming national barriers that kept us from communicating, trading, and doing business in other countries. Friedman made some astute observations, and we would do well to take them into consideration. After all, concerning ourselves with international issues should be a part of our everyday lives.
That may be a strong recommendation, so here’s how I back it up. Over the last few weeks we have (or should have) heard about all that is going on in Venezuela. These riots don’t just affect Venezuelans; they affect all of us. We live in a world of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, allowing information to be spread in milliseconds. Indeed, we are bombarded with information—information about our friends’ lives, information about celebrity breakups, and even information about new high scores on games like Candy Crush. Information in itself isn’t the problem. What’s important is what we do with it.
Over the last few years you may have heard about the End It Movement, an advocacy campaign to end sex slavery, a global multi-billion dollar industry. But you see, sex slavery isn’t just happening in other countries—it’s here in the US as well. That’s why we should care. Just because we may not see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Many times we’ll hear about events like the protests in Venezuela or even the End It Movement, and our response is to simply “like” the post, or if we’re bold enough, we might retweet or share it. But what if there is more we could do? What if there was a better way to care for our brothers and sisters abroad? I believe there is a better way.
This better way is different for everyone. For some people it’s as simple as spreading awareness—in the case of Venezuela this is necessary because the government is actively censoring media outlets. In other cases it’s as simple as taking a picture with a red ‘X’ on your hand, signifying that you’re “in it to end it.” This awareness is important in the sex slavery industry because the men, women, and children who are victims need a voice.
For others, the better way means getting involved socially, physically, or even emotionally. It means getting off of your couch and going to these cities, these homes, these street corners, and standing up for what you believe in.
I recently met some people who are doing this very thing. My friend Jason has two jobs. The first is selling life insurance. The second is traveling to West Africa, undercover, to find and save sex slaves. Another man I met is named Ben. He has a few vocations as well—one being making movies in Hollywood. The second is helping create safe houses for the men, women, and children he has helped free from sex slavery.
Ben and Jason are “in it to end it.” I am too. So whatever cause it is that you’re fighting for, make sure you’re fighting for something. That’s what life is all about.