In 1981, more than a century after America ended slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, the West African nation of Mauritania abolished slavery, the last country in the world to do so. According to a CNN report, since Mauritania's later criminalization of slavery in 2007, only one—one—slave owner has been successfully prosecuted in a country where an estimated 10 to 20 percent of citizens are slaves.
It's hard to imagine that in the same year the first woman joined the Supreme Court, the AIDS virus was discovered, the world raptly watched as Princess Di married Prince Charles, and MTV was launched, one nation still permitted slavery.
for we moderns, whose days are ruled by objective markers of time—years, months, weeks, minutes, with Google calendars and Outlook reminders to track them all—it's easy to forget that time is relative. With lives characterized by the overwhelming sense of time relentlessly marching on, it's hard to remember that ...1