Saturday, February 27, 2016

Worried Parents

I am not a parent. I don't have any kids. But I am worried....

So to explain why this is, I will start with some of my experiences the past 7 months. I have been working at a Sudbury school with children ages 6-12. Now, perhaps a few people in the world can relate to this, but it feels as if some dormant unconscious parental fear has been activating within me. Almost like a programmed put there by nature within all of humanity. But in my case, I am not a father, so this worry I am experiencing is being triggered through the role/position I have been in, where I do watch out for the children's safety. For parents it might seem natural to feel this way. However, because of my life experience, and so frame of perspective, I know that this worry/fear I am experience is anything but natural.

Logically, it makes sense to experience worry and fear if your environment is truly threatening. Which if we look at the genetic history of humanity, there were periods of time, not so long ago, where there were constant threats. It could have been a jaguar or lion, that could be lurking in the shadows or bushes. And children would of course be easy prey. So it makes sense that fear was present during these time periods. However, today it is a completely different world. The number of threats that are actually present and real are very few. One could even see statistical facts about the probability of certain dangers occurring. However, for me I can easily see how seldom such emergency situations have occurred in my life.

While reflecting on my past, I see how fear and worry would have actually been detrimental and have been. Because when I am in fear and worry I make wrong decisions because I act too quickly without assessing properly, all in the name of fear and worry. And when I take into consideration that the design and purpose of fear is either Flight or Fight, I know it is a severe limitation, as certain situations calls for another response than simply fighting or running away. Granted, however, that some situations do actually call for fighting or flight-ing.

So getting back to the topic, having some unconscious fear response that is activating without your permission is unsettling or worrying in itself! So for me the best course of action is obvious, that I must not participate within the fear, and I must remain a stable person within myself having clarity. And I know I can do this by when I see the fear/worry rising within me in relation to the safety and well-being of the children/students, I stop myself for a moment and I take a deep breath and I remind myself of how silly fear is and how unhelpful it is in resolving any conflict or overcoming an obstacle. Then I become practical and so assess the moment and from there decide the course of action. Though in a true emergency I know that action is needed instantly. So this change I am making is within my everyday life experience where worrying is occurring, so I can become more practical, stable, and so actually helpful in everyday life.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Today: Children trafficking

Child trafficking stills exists today. According to this source, 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. Trafficking means that you essentially enslave the child, usually involving kidnapping, and also involving dangerous, immoral, or illegal activities, including forced labor, sexual exploitation, used in the military as soldiers, and within the drug trade.

Recently one news source posted an article regarding the refugees entering Europe, titled:
More than 10,000 refugee children missing in Europe
 Many fear that the children were taken into the trafficking system. The child trafficking is a lucrative business. This is evident because enslaved children are a cheap labor, and because they can be manipulated to produce high income related business activities. Even though these activities are illegal, they occur. This involves the participation of consumers that pay into the service or products, as well as the business owners or entrepreneurs themselves.

What are the flaws within the current economic sector that allow for these activities involving children trafficking to continue? One drawback is the invisibility of hard currency such as with paper notes and coins. If there were a way to trace all money, such as through an electronic currency, such illegal activities would be severely hampered or crippled. One person raises this point of view:

"A thought experiment, which I don't know the answer to:
What if instead of bitcoin and untraceable transactions, all such illegal means became impossible due to an eventual cashless economy.... wouldn't the (theoretical, remember) elimination of $5 trillion in mostly-illegal larceny, theft, and all the leg-breaking and killing that made it possible, be a better outcome for everyone, than the collective warm fuzzies in the hearts of all libertarians who would otherwise be able to hide their small-time transactions from being recorded by legitimate banks?
In other words, the world would be better off-- at the almost complete expense of large-scale organized crime (drugs, government bribery, oligarch asset-stealing), if EVERY transaction was recorded. Yes, bitcoin fans wouldn't enjoy the small private luxury of saving a few bucks from taxes, but it would be so far outweighed by elimination of theft by powereful people.
Again, a thought experiment. "

Also, we can consider what are the reasons/motivation for the consumption of the illegal business involving children? At the heart of this: there exists the desire for pleasure and self-enjoyment. Sometimes this becomes perverted or corrupted for example with child molestation, or using drugs/substances. Asking why this occurs is something wise to do. Though what is happening on the surface and obvious level is that human beings are choosing to engage in something that benefits them personally at the expense of someone else, which includes children in this case. So one way these illegal activities could cease, is through people changing from being selfish to considering all equally and the effects of your actions on other people. Because without the will to consume the activities and perpetuate the activities that are involving and taking advantages of these children, then the activities would surely end.

Also, considering things from the side of the people operating these businesses, some of them are probably wealthy, so they are motivated by greed. And probably within the same business there are those which are poor, who may engage in the illegal activity because they are making money to survive. Chances are, though I don't know for sure, that many if not all of these illegal business would fall completely if people everywhere were taken out of survival where they don't have to worry about making money for their basic existence, because it is given and guaranteed for them, by someone, such as the government or other entity. So in other words, these people who were once extremely poor, now have a moral choice whether to take advantage of these children. Whereas, before they justified the action of taking advantage of these children because they would die themselves or because they have their own family to provide for. I do believe that any illegal business that depends on exploiting individuals in poverty to perform the grunt work of the operation, would fall completely by some economic measure that provides for everyone. Such examples of such proposals include but not limited to: Basic income, Living Income Guaranteed, Universal Income, Unconditional income etc...

In conclusion, there does appear to be several ways to reduce, and potentially end child trafficking through time. These actions would require political participation by citizens of countries, as well as participation of political candidates or politicians to run, propose, and vote on such proposals described here. The current activities that aim to reduce child trafficking is limited to the work of police, or investigative groups. Unfortunately, the incentive and payback of performing these activities are so great, that if the police end one illegal business, another one is likely to spring up elsewhere. Therefore, this writer suggests tackling the incentives and the motivations behind these illegal businesses involving child trafficking as a way to substantially change, and eliminate them.