Ode to Our Children

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    This poem and title came to me after a couple of events occurred very closely together which affected me deeply. Close to three hundred girls were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria, causing much distress in the world and in our hearts.
    In the same month I attended a seminar before going to work one morning. The subject was Human Trafficking.
    Although I knew it existed, the statistics and facts startled me: this was occurring in increasing numbers here in the U. S., especially in largely populated coastal states; the top three being California, Texas and Florida. According to the speaker, victims rescued in Florida alone ranged in ages from 9 to 67, mostly female.
    Most runaways are approached within 72 hours of being on the street by traffickers. Kidnapped children and laborers are instilled with the fear of coming forward. They are bullied, threatened, beaten, drugged, brainwashed or intimidated into submission.
    The cruelty acted out by some humans toward others is incomprehensible; yet it continues to occur. There must be a deeper lesson in these kinds of horrific actions carried out by perpetrators. Perhaps they are our teachers on some level. Could we become their teachers? Can we help them see a better way?
    Ode to Our Children just would not stop wanting to be written. It is long-winded and arduous, with raw emotional reaction to the ongoing events I heard and learned about.
    Awareness about human trafficking is an important first step. Beginning to notice more about people around us is key. There are specific traits and behaviors human traffickers and the victims they abduct exhibit. Both live in our communities; possibly as our neighbors.
    We all have a choice to learn about and begin to notice telltale signs. We can all help in rescuing the enslaved children and laborers by notifying law enforcement, who can then do their job in bringing criminals to justice for their unthinkable crimes.
    I wonder how many rescued victims will grow to be upstanding citizens and how many will become human traffickers. Perhaps we can help them choose the better path. With the whole of my heart, I hope they decide on the side of good, in spite of, or perhaps because of what they have endured.
    With healing comes a choice to become catalysts in helping end this atrocious thing. Rescued victims then gain power they can use to change the world in a great way. We owe it to all human trafficking victims to help in any way we can. Writing to bring awareness is something I can do.           

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