Sitting in our oversized living room, my family and I waited anxiously. To pass the time we talked about what the girls were going to be like… We were waiting for the princess ceremony to begin. We had created a center for girls who were victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. This ceremony was a welcoming to the center. We had one almost every month. It was a fun and relaxed environment. We gave each girl a cute little princess crown, and made sure that they felt important. We all ate tons of food. Rice, chicken, noodles, veggies and sometimes pizza would be there to mix things up a bit. We played a lot of games. We would always do their two favorite things. Play soccer and dance. I was much more into the dancing then the kicking of a ball. I would put in a mixed CD full of hip-hop and rap music. Turn up the volume and we would just dance around. These girls had been through horrible experiences. Just the stories the girls told about their lives and hardships were enough to stir up all sorts of emotions inside me. Bought and sold, forced to perform sexual acts- some of the girls as young as five. But the thing that shocked me the most was the way the girls acted.
Even though they had been through messed up things, they still smiled. These big, bright, silly smiles. They laughed bigger than what some imagine Santa Clause laughing like. They were still happy. You could see in their eyes that they knew life was cruel, but there was still a sparkle – a glimmer of hope. It caught me off guard. The girls, just loved to laugh, and play, and dance. They loved to live. Because it was like they realized, hey I’m still here, why not make the best of what I’ve got. If you think about it these girls, have every right to be angry at the world. Hate it even. But they never really showed that side of themselves. That hurt little girl. The one that had been through a massive trauma and lost all that was good in life.
I think that people, that any type of person, that has been through tough times can learn from the attitude towards life that these young women had. You can still have positive energy even though you’ve been through a tragedy. No matter what happens in life the human spirit can overcome it. Walking around with a chip on your shoulder because the world did you wrong is no way to live. Life happens. Bad, horrible, sometimes even unmentionable- some minor and some huge things happen to people, everyday. And as an individual you choose how to live. I believe that your circumstances should not dictate your emotions.
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