Last year, Nigerian police rescued 19 women who were kidnapped for the sake of becoming “baby factories.” I wanted to bring it up now as a reminder to educate yourself on human trafficking, and to brainstorm ways you can support and protect the vulnerable. Live Action News covers a lot of crimes against pregnant women and babies, internationally and through the US, so I encourage you to subscribe to them if you get the chance. They’re linked below:
And, of course, you can educate yourself to become a hero, too, even if you’re not a police officer in Nigeria or some other fancy job. I really need you to do this. Why?
Well, all heroes need superhero training, physical, mental, and spiritual; mine’s ranged from fairly simple nonprofit courses to last year’s intense endurance training, rucking mile by mile in wet, warm Korea in the mornings and then training jujitsu evenings.
I remember hitting I hit a wall one week in August 2019.
I was on call again as a Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner, and I spent a chunk of time cleaning up emotional pain in my normal patient population, too. This mission wasn’t as physically grueling as the days I used to work elbow-deep in blood at the hospital, but after the second truly broken woman that week, I was done.
“I’m tired of myself,” I told God. And between my own chronic pain, and the fact that one of my most important organs wants to kill me, I’m tired in general! I don’t like feeling every day like I live on the edge of a razor-thin cliff face, leather boots balancing on glass shards. Wind blows, and I sway over a pit of screaming lava…
I was frustrated most because there’s so much more that needs DOING. I had food–expensive food, in abundance–while children north of me starved. Just a few streets away from me, the data said, women walked night after night as slaves. Within my own unit, we had a raging STD problem and depression in droves. I could spend a lifetime on each thing–months on just one patient! So what do I do???
In the end, I CAN’T. I realized in a very practical way that I am only one person.
This is why I personally need YOU–why the world needs you–to constantly think about where your superhero role lies. Not just your hero role, your superhero role. You’ve got to have a hero role, of course: that’s your volunteer gig, or the income you give regularly to someone who really needs it (not to your favorite political cause or alma mater–to a PERSON in need). Your hero role is the way you pay for the people behind you in the grocery line every now and then, or donate your voice to the VocalID library so people without a working larynx can use yours.
Your SUPERHERO role is above and beyond hero. It’s quality, not quantity. It’s that person who can give you nothing in return, who needs more than just a friend, the stuff of legends and lifetime movies. Maybe your distant relative with a drug addiction needs someone to finally take them in and break this thing. Maybe it’s the homeless guy you pass every day, who finds a job through connections YOU make after you’ve lunched with him for weeks. Maybe you start a business that gives working opportunities to ex-cons, or you stay sober on the weekends to watch for assaults at local bars, or you move to a neighborhood or a nation that has less than you do so you can share. Hero roles happen when you work kindness into your every day lifestyle in the light. SUPERhero roles happen when you wade into the darkness and life changes.
So how’s your superhero training going?
The world needs you,
P.S. Every superhero should have at least a little human trafficking training under their belt. Slavery isn’t just something in the past, or in Nigeria–it’s actually happening in your backyard, too. Do you know what to do about it? Take the first training on how to recognize human trafficking. And then take this medical training. Remember, anyone who sends me screenshots proving you completed all the medical modules will get up to $15 of free merch from my Gumroad. If you’re super high speed, you’ll check out this third set of resources here.