Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Courage to Take A Stand

Some people, like British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually have the courage to stand up and fight for a better world, one where people are valued and children are taught self-respect. Recently Cameron spoke out about the minefield of pornography and the way it normalizes sexual violence against women. He so concerned about the way it impacts young people that he's putting sweeping measures in place to stop it.

A Norwegian billionaire is stepping up too. He owns a chain of Scandinavian hotels and despite the loss of revenue, Peter Stordalen, is determined to fight against the scourge of smut because it contributes to human trafficking. Seeing it as a social responsibility, this businessman is removing pay-per-view pornography channels and replacing them with contemporary art. His was also the first hotel chain to recognize the dangers of smoking and eliminate it. Now it's normal for public places to be smoke-free. 

A Princeton law professor and an Islamic scholar, Robert George and Hamza Usef, applaud Stordalen's efforts and have used them to challenge hotels in the U.S. to do the same. They said pornography is “degrading, dehumanizing and corrupting,” and it teaches young people to “settle for the cheap satisfactions of lust” instead of achieving a love that is “liberating and fulfilling.”

What a tremendous example these world leaders set for the rest of us. There's a multitude of ways we can fight human trafficking and they don't all have to involve monumental efforts. Even organizing a letter-writing campaign to hotel chains could make a difference. Or perhaps one letter might influence someone in a place of power.
 
One young woman, Jae Tracie, took a stand in a YouTube video*--exposing the low-self-esteem being cultivated by the lies that "twerking" ought to be learned. I neglected to save the link but when I tried to find it, I couldn't. All I could find were videos teaching everyone from teens to grandmas how to simulate, well enough said. How sad that the message media pours out on people of all ages, even children, is that they have to flaunt their bodies to be valued.How refreshing for Jae Tracie to take a stand to expose those lies and talk about integrity, purity, and self-respect. That's courage and deserves to be recognized. If anyone has that link, I'd be happy to post it.

Regardless, these three people are unafraid to dream of a better world, one where girls and women are not treated as sex objects. One where real love exists. Harriet Tubman once said: 
 
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience,and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world"
What's your dream? In business is there a way you can help change the climate to create a culture that promotes the value of people and genuine love? In government, is there a way you can set a standard that's higher and better for individuals? Using media, is there a way you can expose the lies and offer truth that improves lives?  What will you do to take a stand?

*The friend who posted the link on FB said it had been removed because it was inappropriate, but knowing the name of Jae Tracie, he found the link. When I went to check it, I had to click on it to proceed because it might have inappropriate content. Interesting that not one other twerking video had that same type of red flag. Truth--some people may not think it's appropriate.