Facts and Figures…
So I am pretty safe in saying that this week I have been confused every single day about which day it actually is. On Tuesday I thought it was Saturday, on Thursday I thought it was Friday, and by Friday I had plain given up trying to work out what had happened to the rules of time, and just went straight to sleep as soon as I got home from work.
At one point this did get me thinking about how sometimes, it’s irrelevant how you feel about something, it doesn’t change the fact of the matter. On Tuesday, my experience was that it ‘felt’ like Saturday, but no matter how determined I was to stay in my pyjamas, I still had to change my behaviour to fit with the fact that it was a work day and I had to get things done. In other words, reality always wins.
This week I had a meeting with a local man who is interested in getting involved with the ZTC initiative. He was actually on the same Investigators Academy that I took with the other fellows in Week 2, so it was fun to be able to catch up with him and witness first-hand how a persons’ involvement and usefulness in the movement to end slavery seems to grow in proportion to their enthusiasm and commitment.
One thing he shared, and I remember commenting at the time, “I am going to write that down!”, was that 1 million seconds is equal to 12 days. These days, a lot of statistics and numbers get thrown around, and I personally have no grasp or concept of what these numbers actually mean. But to assign them to something I can relate to makes them more tangible – like the fact that 1,000,000 little seconds are the same as 12 long days (remembering all the time that the subjective experience of 1 million seconds is neither here nor there).
It was only after the meeting that I whipped out the calculator and realised that 360 is also a pretty significant number. Not only is it 5 days short of a year, but it is a representation, in days, of 30 million seconds – one second for each person enslaved in the world today. So what if we were to take a one minute’s silence for each of these 30 million people – do you know how long it would take? 57 years… (I would be 80 years old – scary thought).
What I am trying to say is that, no matter how we feel about something – positively, negatively or plain neutral – facts are facts. There are 30 million people, minimum, in slavery:
1. the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
2. the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
3. the condition of being subject to some influence or habit
4. work done in harsh conditions for low pay
This number grows by the second, the minute, the day, and the longer we leave it, the bigger the problem to tackle. If we each of us have 24 hours in a day – 1440 minutes – 86400 seconds, then let’s not worry about how we are feeling, or how big the problem might be, or whether we even know what day it is, but instead focus on the fact that there are people “out there” relying on us to take action. What are we waiting for?