(Emergency Part 1 is HERE)
Remember the game Battleship? I used to play it with my uncle when I was a kid. I remember him explaining the different kinds of ships and their specific roles in a naval fleet. Each one a vital piece of the bigger picture of a fleet and its mission.
In our fight to end modern day slavery, I am convinced that we need the fleet. Everyone bringing what they have to the table. We need “experts” and “non-experts”, “professionals” and “non-professionals” We need organizations, agencies, governments, law-enforcement, media, business, individuals, etc.
In the midst of the crisis in Haiti, I’ve heard some compassionate individuals talk about how frustrated they are with “big organizations” that they feel are moving too slow and are bogged down with bureaucratic red tape, while children are being trafficked. And I’ve heard from organizations who say that they are concerned and frustrated with the “well intentioned, passionate individuals jumping into this mess like “lone rangers” without a strategy and without partnering with anyone.”
I learned from my uncle early on, that each ship has its unique strengths as well as weaknesses. The small destroyer or patrol boat is vital, in that it can move quickly and get into places that the massive carrier cannot. And the carrier is just as crucial, as it serves as a virtual moving city of soldiers, aircraft, supplies and vital support.
It is easy to become frustrated at times with how slow the aircraft carriers move. But you don’t leave the carrier behind to do your own thing. That’s suicide and not very effective. The carrier may take a little more time to maneuver, but it packs a lot of punch and is carrying essential people and supplies.
I dislike bureaucratic red tape as much as the next person and honestly don’t have time for it. But…I WILL take the time to strategize and find ways to work together so that our efforts are effective and sustainable. And I WILL certainly take the time to learn from those who have been in the fight longer, have a proven track record, and have been around the block enough to know what might be up ahead.
Bottom line: We need patrol boats and we need carriers. We need experts and non experts. We need wise, seasoned veterans. We need new recruits.
Call me an idealist, but the desperate need of the hour is collaboration and cooperation. We may not always agree on methods or philosophy, but if we spent more time and energy on finding common ground and mission (ending slavery), rather than battling over what we disagree with, maybe we could be more effective.
At the end of the day, human traffickers make up a VERY small percentage of the human race. Then there are the rest of us. We far out-number traffickers, have more resources than traffickers, and I have to believe that we may have those among us who are even smarter than traffickers. So what are we waiting for?
We CAN win the war to end modern day slavery. If we each use our strengths, cover each others backs, and stick together as one fleet, we will accomplish our mission.
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