Here is a story that brings me completely to my knees. With unrelenting compassion and bravery beyond extraordinary measures, Somaly Mam, a Cambodian surviver/activist/author/humanitarian, is truly a hero of our time. I can’t even begin to tell her story as I know my words will not pay her integrity and heroism adequate justice.
I will say though that in this often cruel, cruel world where we really have kicked our faith in humanity out the door, Mam restores that faith and helps us to believe again. Mam fights the ongoing battle against sex slavery—a modern-day, global crisis that the world (and the media) seem to have so unfairly discarded. Every day she’s fighting for hope, for justice, for freedom. Every day she reminds the girls who she rescues that they don’t have to continue to live as prisoners. When I hear about Mam’s personal past—what she’s been through, what she’s overcome, and what she is doing now—I can’t help but feel selfish, blinded of a world far greater than my fleeting little problems. I feel silly for complaining about ridiculous things when much of the world (my own Cambodian sisters) are fighting a harder battle. I wonder how someone like Mam, who grew up with so much darkness and hatred around her can become such a shining beacon of unconditional love for others. What she has done and what she is still doing is impossibly courageous. She is remarkable. And as if I didn’t question my career choice already, this story melts the icebox that encases my stone heart and puts me right back there, wondering what I could possibly do to help.
That’s why I chose to write this post. This isn’t just a story. It is a movement that is happening right now. And this is my first step. Today, here and now, please take a moment to read Somaly Mam’s story and the foundation she started. See how you can get involved. I can’t promise you that a miracle won’t happen.
tagged as: somaly mam. cambodian. hero. sex trafficking. khmer.