I see the button as an allegory, a metaphor of sorts.
The fact of the matter is that we press that button every day.
As we go about our daily lives of comfort and excess, without consideration of how our choices and actions might impact others, we adversely affect ‘strangers’ the world over.
When we buy a new bathroom rug because the last one is apparently out of style, we keep an eight year-old boy, Rajan, chained to a loom in Nepal.
When we pick up a latte from our favorite barista, we fuel a conglomerate that forces Juan, a poor Costa Rican coffee grower, to sell at prices far below what would allow him to afford that same cup of coffee for himself.
When we buy the latest fancy T-Shirt with gold embossing at XYZ Casuals, we rob Ajay from ever leaving the cotton plantation that holds him and his sisters in perpetual bondage in South India.
When we go on an exotic spa vacation to Southeast Asia, we entrap Isra, a fifteen year-old Thai girl from the impoverished hill tribes, in a world of daily violation and exploitation.
When we visit that adult Website that our teachers warned us about, we enable pornographers to imprison a scared teenage girl, Imana, in a Burundian hotel room for three days, robbing her of her innocence and privacy.
When we choose to adopt a child from a country with a less-than-reputable child-placement program, we cause Esmeralda to reluctantly give up her new baby girl in Latin America.
When we select that rare hardwood for our kitchen cabinets because it nicely matches the existing wallpaper and is much grander than the neighbor’s remodel, we help to eradicate the ecosystem that sustains Daniel and his family in Brazil.
When we choose to get an organ transplant in Eastern Europe because the wait is too long in the United States, we cause the abduction of Serge, a street child in Moldova, and the subsequent harvesting of his kidneys.
Whether it’s the big and profound (organ transplants, Internet pornography, and international adoptions), or the seemingly trite and trivial (cups of coffee, T-shirts, kitchen cabinets, vacations, and bathroom rugs), we constantly enslave, maim and kill our neighbors around the planet.
What’s unsettling is that the facts are out there and are readily available. They can be researched with relative ease. But we simply don’t have the time and inclination to do so.
We’re just much too busy…and comfortable.
We keep pressing the button.
To be continued…
Millions of children are enslaved in the world today. Find out how you can effectively pray against this global evil by visiting the Traffic Jam Campaign