the freedom that enslaves

human trafficking awareness walk, terra vista

I had this great conversation with a guest ambassador (client) after Passion Barre class a couple of Mondays ago. We are thankful for the free world (as we insist on calling it that). People should be free to do whatever they want… But is it freedom if it enslaves another? It might be a touchy subject, speaking on social accountability. But during the Barre-a-thon for human trafficking awareness month, we did so because we have a community that cares enough to be uncomfortable.

We spoke of being aware of our surroundings with all there is to notice if people actually paid attention and concern. We even spoke on parenting both ours and other’s children, and bringing back the “it takes a village” mentality. With runaway youth being at a high risk of being trafficked in the United States, we encouraged families to allow their youth to be vulnerable with them so they didn’t have to be vulnerable outside. We talked about getting in their business and social media life, and not being afraid of not being “their friend” temporarily. I know, hard balance to keep, but possible, with love. And how about offering accountability to those who are old enough to do whatever they want? Because they account for much of the market that victimizes the trafficked.

During my interview with one of the investigators with the Exodus Road in SE Asia, the investigator shared that a primary way to prevent trafficking involved reweaving the moral fiber of the society. I nodded emphatically! You see, during the eighteenth century when English abolitionist William Wilberforce sought to abolish slavery, he had to start with reform – by restoring public manners and by influencing people to see how wrong and inhumane slavery was. Apparently it had been so engrained in society, people weren’t moved about it. As we say, freedom has often come, and can only come, as a result of the free becoming distressed by the captivity of the enslaved- and doing something about it. From there, they were then able to combat slavery. But the common form of slavery then was obvious. Today it’s a little hidden because it’s so much in our faces.

There is a freedom that enslaves. But then it’s not freedom at all. It’s licentiousness. It’s the type that says “I’m old enough to do what I want and what I feel; I’m a responsible adult; we’re consenting adults; no one would ever know; I shouldn’t have to answer to anyone; it’s harmless; it’s necessary; anyone who opposes me is just a religious freak; and why should I feel bad about this?” Or it’s the type that says “It’s not my business; I don’t want to seem judgmental.” It’s the type that engages or does not discourage cheap labor, pornography, prostitution, terrorism and so on – not realizing how often these behaviors are serviced by forced victims. The type is a person, and a behavior. They are the market, they create the industry. The $32 Billion industry. After all, you cannot sell what people won’t buy.

The purpose of moral standards isn’t to prove we’re better than anyone. It’s to protect one’s self and others, whether one know how far it reaches or not. That’s why it’s called a standard.

If you’re looking for opportunities to fight for freedom or give to the cause of freedom, start while your conviction is fresh. Click to read more on our passion, partners and projects in the rescue of women and children from human trafficking. Join us in a Passion Barre class as well because your attendance is a freedom point!

P.S. If it’s been too long or you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you in class. The sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we brought the barre to Rancho Cucamonga! Your first trial class is only $10 this February, and we’ll be donating that to our partners, so click here to reserve

In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre