As you’re reading this, your social media is being flooded with little red X’s. People are pulling out red sharpies and drawing these X’s on their hands. They’re placing red X stickers on the backs of their cars and laptops. They’re putting these little red X’s just about everywhere today. And why are they doing all of this? It’s all to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Now while you’re seeing all of these red X’s all over social media, you’re also seeing people expressing their doubts and skepticism about this human trafficking awareness movement. People are saying things along the lines of “ Taking a selfie with an X on your hand does nothing for these people.” Or “Awareness doesn’t really matter.” Now you yourself might be one of those people saying things like this. That’s OK. I used to be one of those people too. But today I’m going to tell you how those little red X’s actually do make a difference. How they do help. How they’re not a waste of time and why you should be putting them everywhere as well.
Awareness is multifaceted and has many different functions. But the most obvious function of awareness is to make people come to the knowledge of something. Every bit of knowledge you have someone, or something, had to make you aware. There are still plenty of people who don’t know what human trafficking is or the depth of the evil it is. Every day new generations of people are being born and getting older and if no one teaches them about these things, they simply won’t know.
Another reason for awareness is solidarity. Could you imagine not having ownership of your own life? Living every single day trapped in the wills and desires of someone other than you. Made a slave to them and their purposes. It is lonely. You don’t have to look far for the stories of people who have been trafficked. The things they’ve been through are gut wrenching. The loneliness and lack of worth they have felt should shake you to your core. I can only imagine it might provide some comfort to these people knowing that there are others out there who care about them. That there are people fighting for their worth as humans.
I believe our voices matter, whether they actually change things or not. I think we have a moral obligation to speak out against injustice. Yes, speaking out against slavery might not end it. But I can only imagine the fear it drives into a slave owner or pimp. The fear of thousands of voices saying you’re wrong. Thousands of voices saying they will put a stop to the sins you are committing. I believe there is power in that.
I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to say it isn’t. I don’t know if we can truly fathom the comfort a red X may provide. I don’t know if it gives anyone enslaved hope; I like to think it does. I don’t know if there are people out there capable of ending slavery. I don’t know if they just don’t know about it yet, or if we just haven’t pushed them to the point of not being okay with it anymore. Some people in power just need all of the push they can get. Unfortunately, we still rely on moral majorities. People don’t always think some things are wrong until enough people say they are.
But at the end of the day, in what ways do we not speak out against injustice? Why would we not take every opportunity we can get? If in any way we have the potential to help, we should do it. If drawing a red X on our hands in any way comforts someone enslaved, we should do it. If in any way a red X creates fear and discomfort in the heart of a slave owner, we should spread it. If there is any way that posting a little red X encourages someone else to end it, to fight for the end of modern slavery, we should post it.
I don’t think we should ever tire of justice. We should never stop doing what is right. Yes, sometimes it might become mainstream, or annoying, or twisted and perverted, but thank God it’s on our radar.
Thank God there are people who still are trying to do good, even if it’s not necessarily for the right reasons. But as for us cynics, maybe we can spread hope where there is none. Maybe we can show those who are living in darkness that there is a light. Maybe we can show those who do evil there are those who will fight for good with every breath we have.
The world needs more of that. More people who will still fight for what is good even when it becomes trendy. People who will love mercy and seek justice even if it becomes sexy to the majority and cringe worthy to the cynic. Maybe the devil’s plan is to immobilize the ones who will actually do something about injustice with the lie of the ineffective majority.
Draw the red X. Take that selfie. Post it. Annoy your friends. Fight slavery. Give your time. Give your money. Give your self. Do justice. Love what is good. Walk humbly. End it.