Saturday, January 9, 2010

Canary in a Coalmine

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase 'canary in a coal mine'. It’s a miner’s term. Canaries were once regularly used in coal mining as an early warning system. When toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane would build up in the mine, it would kill the bird before affecting the miners. And subsequently, because canaries tend to sing much of the time, they provided an audible cue as well as the visual. Hence, the phrase 'canary in a coal mine' is frequently used to refer to a person or thing which serves as an early warning of a coming crisis.

That phrase has always haunted the halls of my mind. It moves about in the shadows, a specter that never speaks, passes effortlessly through the walls of memory and leaves me always with a sense of foreboding. That is until this morning; Until it spoke, ghostlike and grim….


Children are the canary in the coal mine. They are the weak who are ever suffering exploitation by the powerful. In a very real sense, children predict the future. It is because they are the future. And when any society devalues their children they destroy themselves. When a child is free, free to be a child, that child laughs and plays and sings. But when a child is enslaved, that singing stops. All over the world evil men and women traffick children into the very real mines of brothels, brick kilns, and battlefields. Send them there to do what they won’t put themselves in harm’s way to do. And all over the world, every 2 minutes, a million times a year, frozen by fear in the throat of one more child, a song stops.

The crisis has come.

Please help Conspiracy of Hope end the enslavement and sexual exploitation of children in our lifetime.

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