Today I talked to a woman I have known all my life. She and I have a complicated relationship of love and disdain that goes back decades and we speak about once every two weeks. Wit, intelligence, groundedness and charm are mixed with a dash of conservatism and at times straight up-tightness. She told me some news today that made me more proud of her than I could even imagine was possible.
You may be wondering why I’m being somewhat evasive about the identity of my friend but please bear with me. What she has done could potentially risk the safety of her family should her identity become public knowledge. She is also not a person who seeks any kind of public acknowledgement for her good deeds.
A few years ago this wonderful woman started a journey by filling out some paperwork that she knew no one else would. Being in a position in her work place gave her access to government documents used to determine if fraud exists in financial claims with the city where she lives. During her time doing these investigations she noticed a pattern of behavior that not only was consistent with fraudulent behavior but in doing interviews etc. it seemed to indicate that there was a human trafficking ring operating in the county. The next action was the extension that took her out of her duties as they were laid out in her contract and into a three year project to prove the guilt of certain parties involved in the selling of people. Slaves basically, in a country that is supposed to be a bastion of fairness and thoughtful social integration. The likelihood that she was baffled and astonished by having these activities happening in her own backyard was probably pretty high. Putting together a team of colleagues they pursued the appropriate evidences and corresponding mountains of paperwork that would be needed in order to properly indict the some two dozen people who were at the apex of this twisted scheme.
So far four are on there way to jail and there are likely many more to follow.
Not only am I proud of this extraordinary person for putting a stop to a heinous crime but also for being a bonafide caring person. She was smart enough to see more than what she was looking at and good enough to stick her neck out trying to right a wrong. Public acclaim is not important to her and she has let others take kudos that should have been meant for her with humour and grace. The family that she has built with her lovely husband is real and loving and they genuinely look out for each other. Their home is beautiful and she and her husband both have good jobs that afford them vacations and other luxuries. Joy is in their home. Being one of the “lucky” people she could have looked away and thought it was no concern to her but there is no way her integrity would have allowed it.
I’m proud of her because she fearlessly and without concern for herself did something that truly and properly makes the world a better place. Not because it would give her anything but because she could give something to someone else.