Bravery.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Last night, Graham, my dad, Charli, a friend of hers and I went to see Trade of Innocents, a movie about the sex slave industry, particularly dealing with underage girls in Asia.

To say it was compelling and confronting would be an understatement. It is profoundly moving, shocking and powerful.

I think it took some guts to watch. I say the statistics about human trafficking and the sex slave industry frequently. I listen to and re-tell the stories. I have my own photos of girls who have been rescued from the hell they show in the movie.

And yet I sat there wanting to get up and leave. I sat there, fists clenched, stomach churning at the pure evil that these girls live through. That these girls are living through right now.

At 40, I have seen some stuff. I have sat with friends as they have described physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their husbands. I’ve felt the pain of others as loved ones pass away. I’ve held the hand of friends whose relationships are falling down around them. I’ve looked into the eyes of a girl who has been repeatedly raped by strangers, forced to perform acts that no decent person would even know existed. And I think I should face these things. I should be willing to look evil in the eye and stare it down.

And yet there was Charli and her friend. Sixteen year olds. Sitting watching a movie that makes no bones about the suffering these girls endure, that did not try to hide or sugar coat what other human beings do to them.

Sixteen year olds who could have been watching the latest hollywood blockbuster. Who could have been at home painting their nails and doing their hair, flicking through magazines and talking about boys.

And there is nothing wrong with any of those things but when given a choice, Charli and her friend chose the hard path. The path that many adults will not even acknowledge is there, let alone walk down.

Charli and her friend chose to subject themselves to knowing about the plight of others.

They chose to know.

And once you know something, you can never un-know it. You can never again plead ignorance. You cannot un-see it or un-feel it.

You can never un-know it.

There is one word for Charli and her friend.

Brave.

Are you brave enough to look at the big problems we are facing as a human race? Whether it’s human trafficking, the sex slave industry, extreme poverty, homelessness, teen suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we be brave enough to look outside ourselves and act.

Will you do it? Will you be brave enough?

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Bravery.

  1. The girls are brave, indeed. You have modeled bravery for them and the world will reap the rewards.
    I love how you mentioned ‘they chose to know’. It’s far too easy to close our eyes and ears to the hard things in life.
    Our pastor often says the most spiritual thing a person will ever do is choose.
    Though it is a difficult subject you’ve written about, my heart is warmed knowing there are others who feel passionate about being real and getting our hands dirty if that’s what it takes.

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    • Thanks Denise, I hope I have but at her age I certainly wasn’t making the choices she is making. And that’s what really struck me. You would have to be living under a rock to not know there are significant issues facing us as a race and so it is a choice to either find out more, or to ignore it. Far too many are choosing to ignore them. However, there are many, many people, of all ages, choosing to confront the issues and act. I’m proud that my Charli is one of them 🙂

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    • You are so right, Karen. When we look at how many things that need attention, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed, yet if we each just picked one to be active and passionate about, we could change the world! When I feel overwhelmed at all I would like to be involved in, it encourages me to know that other people have taken up those causes and are just as passionate about them as I am about mine. We aren’t all called to be activists for the same cause, but we are all called to act.

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  2. So true, Susannah. Once you know, you can’t unknow. They are brave young women. I wouldn’t have chosen that path at their age, and sometimes I still want to run. But these days, I’m a little more courageous than I was at 16. A little. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing their bravery. I think that helps the rest of us be braver.

    Also, thanks for your comment on my last blog post. I read it and thought I had commented back, but didn’t until tonight. I appreciate your support more than you will ever know.

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    • No I wasn’t that brave at 16 either – and I’m barely that brave now! I agree, I was encouraged and inspired by them, too. If sixteen year olds have the guts, then surely I can too!
      No problems re your commenting on my comment…I actually read the post when you first put it up but wanted time to think about what you had shared. And given that post, I think you are far more courageous than you realise 🙂 xo

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  3. You’re an encourager, Susannah. I love that about you.

    I hope you’re right – I hope I’m more courageous than I think, but even if I’m not, I have courageous friends like you. I’ve found out that hanging with the winners counts for a lot. Let’s plan on growing more courageous together.

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