It’s not fun to talk about violence.
We would much rather give clean water, sponsor a child, donate books and invest in microloans. We would rather not talk about slavery.
But according to International Justice Mission founder Gary Haugen, we have to talk about violence. We have to understand its hegemony over the lives of the impoverished in the developing world.
You see, if we do not end violence, we cannot end poverty. All of our funds and gifts can go to the needy, but we also have to guarantee that those gifts stay in their hands.
In fact, any conversation about global poverty that doesn’t include the problem of violence must be deemed not serious.
Why am I sharing this?
Justice is an issue that is close to my heart. Furthermore, I am inspired everyday by people who have made it their life’s purpose to change lives.
As a history major, I also understand that hindsight is 20/20.
We wish we could go back to the time of the Holocaust and join the brave Europeans who opposed Hitler. We wish we could do a better job as a nation protecting black women and men throughout the twentieth century.
So I hope we won’t be the generation that neglects the 30 million children, women and men who are under the thumb of slavery today.
Let’s be a brave generation.
This is a blog about millennial courage, as much as it is about minimalism and adventure.
We pare down and live simply so that we can give our lives to greater things. We go places so that we can break out of our bubbles of complacency and experience life as most of the world lives it.
And I believe that we don’t have to follow in the footsteps of our 20th century forebears who failed to address the issues of their world. We can do better.
If you’re interested in issues of global poverty, I strongly encourage you to check out International Justice Mission. Perhaps you can start by reading one of Gary Haugen’s books, The Locust Effect. Or, you can watch his TED talk, embedded in this post. (If you’re like me you might want to grab a box of tissues while you’re at it.)
My plea to you, friend, is that you would consider joining a movement that speaks to your heart. Maybe it’s not this one, but I hope it’s one to which you can see yourself giving all that you have.
That way, when our grandchildren ask us, “Where were you?”, we will have an answer. We’ll have a damn good answer.