My name is Aelea and I am an addict.
I am addicted to motivating, inspirational quotes cleverly placed on top of images of intriguing cityscapes, endless landscapes or any other generic beautiful thing that nature and creation has to offer.
I’m not sure when my addiction started but it has been fed by clever videos in church, Pinterest, Facebook, and artsy friends. This addiction has taken over my “likes” on Instagram and Pinterest, and makes the photo album on my iPhone full of images I scroll through when I feel a need to be pumped up or left in wonder of the world around us. One main contributor to this addiction is a certain Facebook page called Pure Nourishment. It’s literally a page where most of the posts are epic images with matching epic phrases to make you feel good, make you say “ha, so true” or images that you want to share with others. The most recent images that I have “liked”, saved as images in my phone, and read through many a time are the following;
A black and white image of a trendy lady roaming the streets outside of what are most likely equally trendy coffee shops and cafes with the saying, “When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.'” – Caitlin Moran
An image of a whimsical underwater scene bursting with lovely shades of teal, coral, peach and pink with the words “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
A simple white background with black handwriting declaring “Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.”
And a bold statement in white and red on a sky blue background boasting “Don’t just talk about it, be about it.”
The first two are fun but the last two are truly the most amazing and challenging.
When I read the words “Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.” I immediately thought of our daily choices and their contributions to slavery. Yes, our daily choices contributing to slavery– the choices we don’t realize, the choices we do realize but choose to ignore for our ‘sweet fix’ or ‘It’s just so cute I have to have it’ mentality that leaves us thinking the more we have, the better off we will be. I will never tire of telling people about the issues of slavery, but there comes a point when I tire of telling the same people about the same issues just to see them continue on a path that completely ignores the very things they eagerly and passionately inquired to me about.
The famous William Wilberforce quote goes, ‘You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.’ To me, this quote needs an image behind it, cleverly designed in such a way that people ‘like’ it on all forms of social media, share it with their friends, save it to their phone photo albums, and allow it to penetrate their electronic life that is so heavily relied upon. Allowing themselves to be constantly faced with the fact they do know brings to light they can never again say they didn’t– that they can never again say they didn’t have an option because the very fact they see the image every day reminds them they already have an inherent interest in how to be a change maker in the world.
When it really comes down to it, we are all created with a level of compassion that seeks justice when someone is wronged. When something bad happens we all automatically want to do something to see the scales of the situation tilted in the opposite direction and have the wrong made right. The issue of modern day slavery is exactly the same and requires us to actively pursue the balance of seeking justice when we know injustice exists. The goal, however, is not to have balanced scales, but a scale where the justice is so evident– so strong in comparison to injustice– that injustice is no longer existent to even add a feather weight on the scale.
As a goal we can all be active in pursuing, we can stop participating in the problem and be part of the solution. It’s in our somewhat meaningless every day choices the most meaning can come from– we can stop actively participating in the problem.
What is your most meaningless choice that you have come to realize contributes the most, to not only modern day slavery, but to injustice in any of it’s many forms?