December 6, 2014, Scottsdale- This day was the 34th anniversary of Penny and I having met, in Zuni, NM. Since her passing, 3 1/2 years ago, I have found myself spending this day doing something or another that celebrates our Faith. This year, December 6 was the day chosen by the Baha’is of Scottsdale, and the United Nations Association of Arizona, to observe Human Rights Day, which actually falls on December 10. Several speakers addressed key issues pertaining to human rights: Immigration, Native American affairs, the persecution of Baha’is in Iran, and the ongoing state of affairs between Blacks and Whites in our country. A longtime educator, who is Baha’i, made the case for Universal Compulsory Education as the overall impetus for solutions to these, and other issues, being generated. A member of the audience made a passionate plea for communities to address human trafficking.
As this last is a huge concern of mine, especially as it pertains to children and teens, I spent several minutes during the social portion of the gathering, hearing this lady out on the matter. Like her, I see both official sanctioning of human trafficking (albeit in a surreptitious manner) and the tendency we have towards viewing strangers, or those from outside the immediate circle of friends, as those better left in anonymity, as contributing factors to how easy it is for trafficking and slavery to persist in today’s world.
I will be glad to have a kindred spirit in my corner, in taking on these evils. For too long, our society, and the human race as a whole, have regarded those outside one’s social circle as leaves in the wind. I saw some of that in evidence among those in attendance at last night’s gathering, which underscored my earnest and hard-working colleague’s point: Without us, who will bring in the light?