The whole #metoo hashtag and all that it implies which has spread across social media this past week, points to a pandemic condition which has existed for as long as mankind has walked the earth. And while isolated incidents of sexual harassment, rape, and all the rest have occurred and been at the fore of people's minds recently, there is another insidious and evil bed buddy which ties into a larger problem from what appears to be a dark pattern some humans are leashed to, eating away at the souls of others, while slowly splintering their own, singing in the death chorus of oblivion.
Some people act as lone wolves in their domination over and violation of other people. But in many of the industries that this problem exists (I've actually yet to find an industry where it doesn't exist) which include; music, movies, politics, colleges, religion, sports, corporate, etc etc etc, everywhere in the world, there are the enablers that supply other human beings to the depraved to the tune of $100 billion annually (according to the ILO, 2015).
Yep, talking about sex trafficking.
It has always pained me to think about slavery of any form. A violation of another's body isn't the worst of it. To me, it's the psychological trauma that upsets me more because such can last a lifetime and be wholly debilitating. This is why I wrote that free book on human trafficking a couple years back.
So while many, of whom I know or admire, have now joined in on the sad chorus of me too, the first step to bringing attention to the problem is being done.
There are plenty of strong networks out there for support such as RAINN. I hope you take advantage of these resources if you need to. And I hope that we all educate ourselves a little more, not just what we can do broadly, but what we can do in our personal lives to affect this great pandemic, from the isolated incidents of sexual harassment and assault to the insidious, repeated, victimization by sexual means on a commercial level.
The other day I mentioned teaching our younger generation about personal responsibility and empathy. I think when kids are instilled with what these things mean, then right and wrong may play a larger role in the decision making of our future generations.
If more people could easily feel what others feel with as much clarity as if it were happening to them, the world would change quite quickly and for the better. Empathy is why I don't judge people. I don't know what they know, or where they've been, or the hurt they keep well guarded inside themselves. I give everyone rope and enough space to move forward. What they do is ultimately up to them.
Am I perfect? I'll be the first to admit emphatically, no. Not even close. I have my own hurt well guarded. Occasionally, this bleeds into public view. Sometimes certain people receive a more intimate glimpse of it. I apologize for letting it bleed out (E, A, M, L, you all know who you are). But my own mental anguish and pain has served to motivate me to help alleviate the suffering of others by empowering people in any way I can.
My door is and has always been open. We should all be free to live healthy and happy lives. And no one has the right to violate those points. Not even once.