Hey all!!! Yesss I’m back! It’s been quite a while since my last post, and so much has happened… However…. I’m going to keep things minimal this time.
Now, this semester has been yet another challenge. I started off with an overload of class work while getting ready to be released from physical therapy without being fully healed. So…. The waves started crashing, however… This time I begin to learn balance. Instead of trashing myself with class overload along with a crazy busy home life, healing, work, and house sitting, I cut back to 3/4 time at school and cut back on my hours at work PLUS I made sure to increase my Jesus time. Though it still has been a battle, I’m refusing to back down.
So, what would make someone press on through injuyr (working through pain off and on praying for provision for treatment), crazy home life, financial struggles and constant waves of battle? Well, there’s a passion I have for the human trafficking victims in the Bay Area. Those of you who’ve kept up with my blog know why. To spare details that have already been shared, I’ll say… It’s a cause that hit rather close to home with a loved one of mine, originally against their will.
I guess you’re wondering what I would intend to do, right? Well, I want to hello people get free from human trafficking and into a new life feeling worthy of all that God has for them. In order to keep my “golden envelop” sealed until the official revealing of the program I’m working on… I’ll simply say… Find your passion, it will lead you to your purpose. I truly believe I’ve found mine!
Will I ever run again? I believe so… However, I choose to remain focused on the blessed gifts that are currently before me… My beautiful nephew, my mom, god mom, new friends, church family and… SCHOOOOLLLL ohhh how I LOVE to learn!
In closing, I’d like to share my most recent paper … I hope y’all enjoy:
Tanha, Human Trafficking, and the Eight Fold Path
(Comparative religion, soooo… Of course I put Jesus all up in this one!)
Tanha as defined by Wikipedia.org, is a thirst,craving, or
desire. According to Buddha, it’s a craving or burning desire to
have what we don’t have, for something to be what it isn’t, a
selfish drive for more, thus putting “me first” before anyone and
anything else. This is like a plague in today’s society!
Everywhere I go, magazines are smeared with things like, “Get
the wardrobe, or body you’ve always dreamed of!” Articles ,
billboards, commercials and internet ads flashing the latest
cars, phones, dream houses, means of entertainment, and
sensual pleasures. All of these things screaming out to their
audiences, “come and get more!” The sad thing is, the audience
can often become so enwrapped in obtaining these temporary
pleasures that some even take it to the extreme which leads to
things like robbery, abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, gang wars,
world wars, and countless other acts. In the following paper, I
will discuss one form of Tanha that has had a huge impact, not
only on the world, but my family as well…. Human trafficking. I
will then discuss some steps from the eight fold path that could
possibly help eliminate this problem once and for all!
So, what would cause someone to take a young woman (or
man), drug them, beat them, rape and brainwash them
senseless, then put them out on the street to be sold and used
like sexual toilet paper to those of perverse nature over and over
again until they are completely numb to ANY idea of true
freedom and virtue? In my opinion, it’s a severe case of tanha!
These people are so full of selfish cravings and desires for more
sex, money and power that they put themselves first by forcing
brainwashed victims out onto the streets to get what they are
after! This has led to the victimization of 20-30 million slaves
actively being trafficked worldwide ! San Francisco just happens
to be one of the three core trafficking cities! The average age
range of the victims in America is 12-14 years of age ,
sometimes even younger! It is the third largest international
crime industry and profits an estimated $32 billion each year
(Dosomething.org). My mind is blown when I think of the filth
behind this! Selfish desires and cravings leading to the
continuous misuse, torture, and many times… death of millions
of young men and women worldwide! Truly, this is tanha at its
Now, in studying Buddhism, the question has arisen… What
two steps from the eight fold path would be especially useful to
reduce this form of tanha? Well, this one was really hard for me
to narrow down being that every step contains so much power
and they seem to weave interchangeably with one another in
such a way that it , to me, seems difficult to have one or two
without the others. For example: A right mind leads to a right
view, right view leads to right intentions and so on! However, I
have opted to narrow my choice down to the following three:
right thought, right action, and right livelihood.
To me, it begins with right thought. Even the apostle Paul
stated that we are to “take every thought captive” (2
Corinthians10:5 NIV), meaning that we need to take a good look
at it and see if it’s a productive, wholesome, life-giving thought.
Thoughts are the very core of our actions! If those who are
committing these horrific acts were taught to change there
thoughts to free them of the selfishness that lies within, there
actions would be sure to follow. I mean, really think about it…
They brainwash the victims wich shows they already know the
power of thought! Thus leading me to my next choice of step…
Actions speak louder than words, and our actions are
byproducts of our thoughts. Once the mind has been cleansed
(as already mentioned) the actions will begin to follow. One
whose actions flow from pure thought will no longer act with the
selfish drive for more sex, money and power, but rather a more
compassionate form of action in which putting the needs of
other first would be their main drive. In turn, I could see the
release of millions of victims being one of many direct results.
This would lead to a beautiful array of selfless actions that
would dance rhythmically into my next step of choice, which is
“And what is right livelihood? Where a follower of the noble
one has left unethical livelihoods, he keeps his life going with
right livelihood” (The Buddha). Now, livelihood (right or wrong) is
usually the outcome of the thoughts which produced action in
an individual’s life. One whose thoughts and actions have been
cleansed from selfish ways is sure to have right livelihood
nailed! Once the actions are full of selflessness the entire life of
that individual would become a beautiful display of selfless
livelihood. In turn, this would be displayed by them earning an
honest income without harming themselves or and/or others!My
guess is that any person who would be freed from the drive for
more sex, money, and power would desire to live a life dedicated
to helping others find freedom as well! With such a bold , leading
statement made, it could very well become like the domino
effect. Other perpetrators witnessing the joy and freedom
expressed through the livelihood of the individual who has
“gotten right,” are sure to crave the freedom from tanha as well,
thus causing many to turn from their ways which, I’m positive,
would destroy the foundation of the sex trade !
Overall, looking at these steps and comparing them to
scriptural references that pertain to my own faith (II Corinthians
10:5, James 2:14, Ephesians 4:1) when one takes every thought
captive (right thoughts), their faith (or right beliefs/ thoughts)
will show through their actions (producing right action, thus
leading to a life that is worthy of the calling (right livelihood).
This has shown me that these are three very solid steps that
could very well help cause this dark industry to crumble and fall!
In closing, I ‘ll say that while human trafficking (as stated
before) is one of countless forms of tanha, the destruction of it
from the root up is just as important as the destruction of all
other forms . So, where do we start? The awareness begins with
one individual. Let the passion for the cause burn within you!
Then, like Mahayana Buddhists taste nirvana and return to
share it with the world, so should you do for the cause that
burns within. Hopefully, somehow, that passion for liberty from
the selfish/ “me first” mentality will trickle into those who are
caught up in various forms of tanha, leading to the total
destruction of such. Don’t think for a second that this is
impossible, because all things are possible to those who
believe. In truth , it all starts with you.
“Tanha Definition.” Wikipedia Online Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taṇhā>.
“11 Facts about Human Trafficking.” Do Something. Do Something, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking>;.
“2 Corinthians 10:5, James 2:14, Ephesians 4:1” Bible Gateway. Biblical Inc., 2011. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+10%3A5&version=NIV>;.
“Right Livelihood.” The Path To Peace. Peirce, 2009- 2011. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. <http://www.noble-buddhism-beliefs.com/right-livelihood.html>;.