By Amy Cummins
Though the sexual exploitation of women is nothing new, it is still difficult to believe that sex trafficking happens in our modern world — and within our own nation and cities besides. To imagine one person treating another as an object, as something for sale against their will, is almost incomprehensible. Women are human beings, not commodities. Yet, there are people who subject them and put a price on them. Can one life ever be worth more than another, though? What is the value of a human life?
As children, we are taught the Golden Rule — to treat others as we would want to be treated. This is perhaps the most universal moral principle, and it instills within us the understanding that each human person has an innate right to be valued, respected, and loved. Though we have the freedom to disregard this truth and to treat others however we please, the fact remains that there is an irreplaceable worth inherent to all lives.
"Regardless of our looks or opinions, our successes or reputations, our core self cannot be taken from us. Neither can it be bought or sold."
In fact, each life is priceless. You and I possess a spirit and a light unique to us alone from the moment we are created. It can be neither replicated nor reproduced. How we think, speak, sing, dance, and love are expressions of this inner life, and therefore, the simple act of being ourselves places something beautiful in the world that no one else can imitate.
Our lives change and our bodies age, but this inner character — our soul — remains, imperishable. Regardless of our looks or opinions, our successes or reputations, our core self cannot be taken from us. Neither can it be bought or sold. Others can (and do) mistreat us, but our value is nevertheless deep and unchanging. Nothing we do or do not do can make it any greater or any less.
As author Marianne Williamson reminds us: “We can’t look to the world to restore our worth; we’re here to restore our worth to the world. The world outside us can reflect our glory, but it cannot create it. It cannot crown us. Only God can crown us, and he already has.”
Amy Cummins is a writer and marketing professional based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about creating meaningful dialogue and empowering women through her writing, which has been featured on The Huffington Post, Darling Magazine, Grit & Virtue, and Milk & Honey Magazine, among several other blogs and websites. You can view more of her work on her website or follow her on Instagram.