When fiction speaks truth

The following quote is from a book I read this month and reviewed yesterday.

If we reach one person at a time, we’ll have done far more than just turning our backs with indifference or pretending there aren’t real lives at risk. There are women out there who want a better life but don’t know how to get it. Some of them are little more than trapped children who can’t find their way.

In the book, the lead character is trying to reach out to prostitutes who might want to leave that life and start new. She has secured a loan for a house, has moved into the neighborhood and has tried to befriend the women she wants to help. This quote is her defense to the man who loaned her the money.

Even though it’s from a work of fiction, its message struck me as relevant to many social justice causes today.

And it’s a reminder that for every “cause” out there, a real person with a real life is at risk. Hunger, sex trafficking, unsafe working conditions, homelessness, unfair wages, AIDS–all of these affect real people.

Photo by Leroy Skalstad | Stock Exchange

Photo by Leroy Skalstad | Stock Exchange

People with faces, names, hopes and dreams.

I don’t want to forget that.

And I don’t want you to forget it either.