Fight the new drug

I’m sure like many people out there, you can’t help but love Ashton Kutcher.

He’s one of those people that no matter what they do, you won’t be able to stay mad at them for long.

This week, my respect for him, not as an actor, but as a humanitarian rose dramatically.

Clearly deeply affected by his testimonies and sheer passion for the cause, he delivered a powerful speech to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee about child sex trafficking/slavery.

Not only was it emotional, but highly forward thinking as he spoke about his organisation, Thorn, and the impact his software has already had on rescuing boys and girls from being trafficked.

Opening with a powerful story about a two year old girl being raped by an american tourist, all the while thinking “she was engaging in play“, left me absolutely devastated. How does this exist? How are children being shared amongst people and not being stopped?! HOW?!

Worldwide Issue

Unfortunately, many people think that child trafficking/slavery only exists in poorer countries. This is not true.

This issue is a global one, and one that is perpetuated even more so by pornography. In the video, Ashton recalls a significant moment where he was asked to identify the location of a child who had been raped for about 3 years and people online were watching and there was nothing he could do at that moment.

Unfortunately, this is very common. Children are often forced to engage in sexual activity in front of a camera which is then either live streamed or taped and then put online. Porn users then watch these videos, unaware (most of the time) as to where and who was filmed. I know – disgusting.

With 35% of all internet downloads related to pornography, there is no sign of slowing down for the porn industry and the dire effects it is having on our society. This means – logically speaking – that if there is an increase in demand, people are going to want to supply, therefore there will be more kids who end up being raped in front of a camera.

Educate yo’self

Porn is intrinsically linked to child sex trafficking/slavery. There is not separating the two. As it is an underground business, creators and producers make it their priority to make it seem that what you’re watching is real and enjoyed by those making it. I can’t imagine any child enjoying forced sex, can you?

As an educated society it is up to us to combat this new drug. Fight the new drug is a secular organisation that is trying to educate as many people as possible about the detrimental effects of porn not only on children, but on yourself.

I know it’s hard and quite confronting to talk about or even address this issue – but whether you’re a user or not, you deserve the chance to make an informed decision.

While we may not be able to create super cool software like Mr. Kutcher, we can help spread the word about the link between Children and porn. Child trafficking should really be in our history books. It breaks my heart that it isn’t.

But I don’t need you to care about my heart. I need you to care about their heart – they need you to care about their heart.


Photos via unsplash

The power of Kindness

“Kindness is like snow–it beautifies everything it covers.”

What would you do if someone started insulting you? Would you insult them back? Would you think of even harsher words to hurl at them just so that they can feel twice the pain you feel or will feel later on?

I don’t have much admiration for people who try to put a fire out with more fire – they are what help burn the forest and houses down faster.

Am I saying that it’s entirely their fault? No, but when you’re in a situation where you have the power and control to cease a fire, why is it that so many of us elongate its life?

Why do so many of us feel that if we allow our pride to disappear for a bit we have lost? Since when has being kind ever been a loss?

I am a firm believer that Kindness will always lead to good things – no matter how long it takes. And that’s the thing; so many of us are incredibly impatient, that once we do show kindness it somehow makes up for all the times we haven’t been and should be more than enough. However, like most things in life we have to work at it.

I don’t proclaim to be the kindest person in the world but I know many people who struggle with the idea of being kind to someone who isn’t to them.

Recently, as all people do, I have been concerned with the fractures and divisions caused along the timeline of history. While many of these were born from complicated and deep issues, I believe that at the core of these problems was the absence of kindness.

Along with the absence of kindness is the absence of memory. The amount of times I have wronged someone, I really have no right to start hurling things at other people.

That’s not to say that when someone wrongs you, you don’t deserve an apology, but keep in mind that like you they are not perfect and deserve the same amount of kindness you do. At the end of the day it’s up to you whether that’s nothing at all.

Travel and all the normal decisions that come with it

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pack up your things and move? You don’t even have to pack anything up, just move! Away, far away where not a soul knows your name.

The1lit - travel

Have you ever?

The new year always brings about new resolutions, goals and aims. Some are doable, and others may take a lot more effort and imagination. Still, there they are. These expectations hover over of us, reminding us of what we have succeeded and failed to do – until the next countdown finishes and we start the clock again.

I want to move overseas. There I said it. I know! shock! horror! gasp! What 22 year old doesn’t want to move overseas?

It thrills me to think of jetting off and discovering new places. However it’s only recently, upon truly reflecting on the consequences of moving to a different country that I started to think of what, or rather who, I would miss the most.

The1lit - travelNow, I’m sure for most of you, family would be the immediate answer. For me, it’s another different story. It wouldn’t be my friends or best friend, or my shoe collection or significant other – no. None of these things. What I would miss the most would be my beautiful, warm, and stanky cat.

Reading worldofwanderlust’s article on whether or not the expat life is for you, I questioned whether I was up for the task. Would I be truly happy without seeing my cat? No more pats, no more purrs, no more paws. Just an occasional snapchat from my sister.

This newly found complication (yes, it is so) has thrown a spanner in the works. On one hand, I have this burning desire to leave, explore and learn. Whereas on the other I have this undying (and at times a bit exaggerated) love for my cat.

I want to realise my dreams, but is leaving Layla, (my cat) going to have to be a consequence of me realising my dream?

What do you think?

Image
1 Unsplash
2 Unsplash

All expenses paid trip overseas… almost

So again comes the time where I must bid farewell to my family and friends as I embark on another journey to stranger tides.

airplane

Having come back in March from an almost 4 month trip around Europe, many found it hard to understand how it was, that I could afford another trip. Now, mind you I’m a student (recently graduated) so my financial situation is just like any other 21 year old stumbling their way through life – pretty much broke.

Therefore, how could a student, who’s not working and earning no income, able to afford a trip overseas – again? Unashamedly… my parents.

Your parents paid for what???

I don’t need to tell you what reaction I got when I said that (as you’re probably gasping too), but I found nothing wrong with it. No, correction – I find nothing wrong with it.

My parents have made it very clear that once I hit 25, i will have to pay for my own things. Which I find fair enough! I mean hopefully by then i will have had a job, earned some money and maybe even bought a car… maybe 😉 I in no way forced this upon them, and I know that if they weren’t able to do it, they wouldn’t have invited me!

trip overseas - the1lit

So why do I at times feel guilty?

Well, because people think I’m taking advantage of my parents. However, to that I must disagree and say 1. no and 2. no. I expect this to be the last family holiday we take because I know how expensive I can sometimes be. I’m not naive to the costs of a trip but I appreciate that my parents want to create more memories with my sister and me and that because of my financial situation are willing to pay.

I’m aware that not many people are this lucky, and not for one second do I take this for granted. But if they are willing, I’m not going to pass up a trip overseas – I mean, would you?

Do you, like so many other people, think I should already be cut off? Is 21 too old to be accepting trips from your parents?

Images 
1 Unsplash
2 Unsplash