Shane Vermooten | Week 3

As part of the fellowship we have to do several readings and currently we are reading, “The tipping point, how little things can make a big difference.” You are probably thinking, “How is this relevant to the work modern day abolitionists?” or even “What is a tipping point?” and if you thought that I don’t blame you, to be honest I though the same thing until I picked up this book, let me explain, The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. In the book the Author discusses how just 168 people could cause an outbreak of gonorrhea in Colorado Springs a town well in excess of 100 000 people. For anyone working in the abolitionist field this should be the most exiting book you have read or simply even heard of because what this means for the movement is that we don’t have to look at the 30million+ people in slavery and say “I have been working in this field for so long and yet only seen so few results” and walk around hanging our heads in depression, what we should be doing is with every victim rescued or person spoken to about the issue, crack a smile, have a dance and quietly be reassured that with every single victim rescued or casual conversation we are getting ever closer to that elusive tipping point. The amazing thing about a tipping point is that once it has been reached, the results are instantaneous and huge, so once we reach that point, we wont have to be pulling victims out of brothels or factories one by one, instead in a rather small space of time, the voices of abolitionists will overcome, and slavery can once again be left in the history books were it belongs.


Every week I write an update, I wrestle whether or not to start with the line, “Wow this week I have learnt so much” although this is a very true statement it’s a rather boring way to start a blog, and so I decide not to start like that but it always makes it way in somewhere. I think the biggest thing I started to understand this week, is that failure is something that will happen along a path less traveled, expect it, deal with it and keep on moving, it makes you and the movement better and stronger. It wasn’t that I had a failure or anything this week, it was just through 1 line which Mark Wexler said in a meeting and then Keturah turned to me and gave me the, told you so look, as this was an ongoing conversation we had been having, and at that moment the penny dropped.


We got Final Cut Studio in the office this week, and so with the new software and the new computer our NFS film department is starting to take form, which enables us to tell our stories in a new way, a way which will hopefully engage and inspire. With this new equipment I am super exited to communicate our messages some serious, some sad and the ones that I am most exited for, the messages that make you cry you are laughing so hard (at least that’s the goal.)


This week Jono and I got to go to San Francisco twice, which was awesome. Last night we got a ride after work and met with Jamee, Christina and some of her friends in a little hang out spot somewhere in the city and seriously laughed the entire night.


As you can probably pick up from my writing I love to laugh and that is why I am so stoked working with Not For Sale because they prefer to focus on the hopeful and the joy that there is in rescuing all these victims around the world.


So all that to say week 3 is done, and I am loving it, missing certain people back home, but hey that’s life. Thanks to my roommates, my bosses and nfs staff for making this time awesome. And thanks to you for reading this and following our journey with Not For Sale.



2 responses to “Shane Vermooten | Week 3

  1. the concept of failure, the feelings of failure, and how we react when we feel like we have failed are not only universal, but also very personal. I am confident that there will be times in the next six months were you will feel challenged and where you may stumble, but that you will not “fail”. You may fall but you will get back up, you may stumble, but you will learn. This is a learning experience! Embrace the challenges and the stumbles for they will strengthen your core.

  2. Hey Shane, Loving reading the blogs so far! I have to say that one of the enduring lessons I learnt in the fellowship was not just that “failure is something that will happen along a path less traveled, expect it, deal with it and keep on moving”, but also to embrace failure as it came. Although not easy to recognise at the time, when I was failing it meant I was stepping outside of my comfort zone – outside of the things I was good at – and was making room for growth and learning and becoming a bigger and better person. The only failure that is a waste of time is a failure you don’t learn from! Have fun in failing forward this next 5 months!

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