The Silk Road is a book about the new history of the world. The author shares with us that to truly understand new history, we must first understand the astounding past and the history of the nations. Frankopan’s focus was looking at the past not from the perspective of the winners of history, but instead from the perspective of the reality of the scenario.
I correlated this to the world of human trafficking and what it would be like to look at trafficking through the eyes of the trafficker instead of the victim. What a different perspective that would be! When I was finishing my master’s degree in counseling, I was assigned the requirement of meeting with some human traffickers, who took young ladies into their fold and put them on the streets for sale. The traffickers are the “winners” in the trafficking world, as they are who rake in substantial income by selling these innocent, precious girls into a world of prostitution and drugs. So, the last thing I wanted to do was sit and counsel traffickers!
But, just as Frankopan found, there is richness in learning history from the prospective of the “winner.” What I found is that every single trafficker I spoke with had once been a victim of sexual abuse himself, often from a family member or family friend. The torture they went through created a hardness within their core that opened the door for them to “profit” from their history. The heart-wrenching stories of abuse broke my heart. But I still couldn’t condone their choices in any way. I once heard a saying that explored that everything in life is the reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a difference choice. I don’t agree that all of life is one’s own choice, because young victims of sexual abuse had no choice in the matter. But I do believe that history repeats itself, and the strength in the saying is that we do have choices to make changes in our lives by choosing a different direction.
I’ve worked with so many trafficking victims and my response is always the same: your past is just a story. And once you realize this, it has no power over you. Helping to empower victims to learn from and let go of their past is the answer to giving them the strength to move forward. I help them lean into Christ, as I share with them that the Lord sees their battle and provides strength, even when it seems like no one else does. How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.
Trafficking victims are always concerned about what comes next in life. But I often share with these amazing survivors that maybe their journey isn’t about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so that you can be who you were meant to be in the first place!
 Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2017).
 Frankopan, The Silk Roads, 102.