I remember when I first saw this video, I cried so hard. It wasn’t because of the pain of never being good enough, or the guilt of everything I’ve done, or the baggage I carried, but it was the message of love. I realized that I am more than all of that. I am more than the past I carry with me daily. I am more than the mistakes I’ve made. I am more than what society says I am. I am more than what my culture sees me as. I am more.
As we sat in class discussing sex trafficking, I thought of all the things that cause trafficking, and what I can do where I am besides raise money and awareness about the issue. And this is what I came up with:
Things I cannot do:
– end poverty
– change culture (ethnic as well as the ‘pimp’ culture, culture of poverty, etc.)
– provide girls with education
– remove views of females as disposable sex objects
Things I CAN do (because we all need a little empowerment and hope):
– send positive messages…
Then, I thought of how girls are trafficked in NYC – how single-family homes, low self-esteem, desire to be loved and care for contribute to trafficking. And what can I do with my mediocre skills (because I never truly developed a set of skills) to help in any of those ways. If my professor said was correct, that we are all in social work because our story gave us a reason to do this work, then my desire to prevent trafficking comes not only from my religious background or my altruistic personality but my past as well. My story may hold the key to how I want to do this. Yes, it may be to eventually run an orphanage and adopt a bajillion kids because they deserve to be loved and have a family.
But right now, as a soon-to-be 26-year-old, what can I contribute? My story comes from this song, “You Are More.” It comes from my desire to be loved and accepted for who I am, not what I’ve done or the mistakes I’ve made. It comes from my hope that one day, young people will know also that they are more than what society tells them, so they are empowered to be more. For people to realize that the other person is more than a stranger, that s/he is more than what meets the eye. When we know more about our neighbors, we can stand together because there has to be more to this life than what society is right now. I am tired of the way things are, and it’s time we make a difference.