By Audrey Tan —
Eat that third donut or resist the urge?
Keep mum about the shady activities you witness? Or do something about it?
Throw litter out the window? Or keep in the car until a waste bin is found?
Pull that trigger or calm down and rationalize?
When you stop and think about the human cycle, you begin to realize how significant each of our individual actions really are (i.e., being good or bad; diligent or lazy; negligent or caring)—because in the end, some of the negative outcomes of our harmful actions (knowingly or unknowingly committed) collectively end up in society as poverty, high crime, global warming, terrorism, human trafficking and all the other biggest challenges of the world.
This gives all of us the moral obligation to do our part in pieces as global citizens. And it’s not a matter of what religion or ideology we each hold onto. Each of our rationalization process may be different as to why we should do anything about anything (e.g., keep environment clean to preserve God’s creation, or fighting to end war because it’ll make me and my family safer), but we can all agree we want to live good, happy, and peaceful lives in a way that’s a win-win for all.
One way we can accomplish this is by changing the way we view the world. Instead of having a tunnel vision, getting all the perspectives and not just our own religious or political views is the first active step we can take. This can be achieved by making a conscious effort to know and learn about people’s beliefs, cultures and issues surrounding us every day.
When we gain understanding, it becomes a tool and weapon for us in fighting against the evils of society, including the horrific issues plaguing the world. Although there are many of them to address, one major global concern that is quietly lurking in the shadows is human trafficking, which comes in many shapes and forms. According to the Human Rights Commission, three of the most common types include sex trafficking, forced labor/involuntary servitude (remember Blood Diamond?), and debt bondage (forced to work to pay off a debt).
Human trafficking is not confined to the corners of the developing world, but it occurs everywhere including the US and other advanced/developed countries—the global issue happening right here in our backyard. This horrific crime is also known as modern-day slavery. The more it is addressed publicly, the more awareness it will generate, and change can then happen at a quicker pace.
Thanks to a number of nonprofits, religious organizations, media and social enterprises bringing these issues to light, progress is being made, but there is still a lot of work to be done—and it takes the effort of all.
So instead of just keeping our favorite sayings and quotes in picture frames and on screensavers, as global citizens let’s really “be the change that you wish to see in the world” and “love thy neighbor as yourself,” in the words of Gandhi and Jesus.
To learn more about human trafficking and other global issues, visit: