My nightstand is made up of mound of old art and poetry books, classic novels (it’s unconventional but it works), and a 577 page biography of one of the most courageous men to ever live - William Wilberforce: The Life of a Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner. A pure abolitionist with rare conviction and fortitude to see the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade through the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. This carried him to his last breath. He valued human life and etched a legacy in our history. Today, his example is used as a tool to galvanize individuals to use their freedom and voices to stand for the many exploited and enslaved. A weak man may be a tragedy and can cause severe repercussions. However, there have been and are some men with beautiful character. And I believe it is in our best interest to uplift their examples. I hope the words of these five greats will ignite the freedom fighter in you.
"Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.”
– William Wilberforce
Wilberforce found himself in conversion from a social elite life to that of an evangelical Christian, and used his strong influence and wide respect to serve parliament and seek to end the Transatlantic Slave Trade. He constantly banged on the doors of the House to demand change. Hear some of his speeches.
On the transit of slaves to the West Indies: “Let anyone imagine to himself 600 or 700 of these wretches chained 2 and 2 surrounded with every object of it’s nauseous and disgusting diseased and struggling under every kind of this wretches. How can we bear to think of such a scene as this?”
“We only have two choices: do nothing, or do something.” —Tony Kirwan, Founder and President of Destiny Rescue.
In response to hearing a story about a man that was offered to purchase a child to 'do whatever he wanted with' for $400 in Thailand (2001), Tony Kirwan decided to further investigate the current state of human trafficking and discovered that the issue was far worse than he could have every imagined, and that children were being sold as sex slaves. He decided to start Destiny Rescue to liberate the enslaved and restore those that have been abused.
Currently, Destiny Rescue works in seven countries around the world, rescued over 4000 lives from sexual exploitation and operates in Thailand, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, India and other locations that remain undisclosed for security purposes.
“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” – Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer was a church pastor, a principal of a theological seminary, and a university professor with two doctoral degrees. At 30 he and his wife moved and Africa to open a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon- then a province of French Equatorial Africa in response to the desperate medical needs of Africans and the effects of World War One. His wife Helene and him served as prisoners of war during this time, but never gave up on their mission and had a “reverence for life”. In 1952, at age 78, Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.” – William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was the voice of abolition during the years that led to the civil war. In 1831 he published the first edition of The Liberator, as well as Founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832. His work reached thousands throughout the world and was known to be a ceaseless and uncompromising position on the moral outrage of slavery. He did live to see Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War, as well as the Thirteenth Amendment to Constitution go into effect to ban slavery forever.
“It’s easier to be ignorant and say, “I don’t know about the problem”. But once you know, once you’ve seen it in their eyes, then you have a responsibility to do something. There is strength in numbers, and if we all work together as a team, we can be unstoppable.” -Craig Kielburger
Craig Kielburger is a Canadian author, columnist, social entrepreneur, and activist for children’s rights, having co-founded the international organization, Free the Children. Over 24 years ago, Craig, his brother Marc and Roxanne Joyal set out on a bold mission: to work with developing communities to free children and their families from the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Their vision expanded to include empowering youth at home, connecting them with global issues and social causes, and partnering with schools to inspire young change-makers from within the classroom.
Please share with us your favorite and most encouraging quotes!