I arrived in San Francisco one month ago today. Four years ago today the Not For Sale Campaign started. In another five months I’ll have finished this fellowship program (apart from possibly needing a tiny holiday) I predict that I’m not going to be ready for it to end, if this last month is anything to go by – the next five are going to be over before I know it.
Ready or not it will be time for another one of those steps – in what direction, I don’t know, I look forward to finding out but at this stage I’m happy to take in this next part in my journey, as much as I am, I’m not in a major rush, I’m enjoying myself and that’s enough for now. I have the opportunity of working with Not For Sale because of many amazing people in my life, that have helped me find along the way. I feel like I owe them, and myself, to make the absolute most of this experience, and I intend to do that.
As I often do, I’ve been thinking a lot of late – about my life and all the things leading up to this point, especially over the last few years. Being away from my friends and family, from my (over) comfort zone, from my little world – being here has given me a funny sort of perspective, like taking a tilt shift snapshot of the last 4 years – looking down, back at a miniature version of everything and everyone, and noticing my fumbled path through it all. Some people pushed, some people pulled, but here I am – and in a very good way I don’t think anything’s going to be the same anymore. *Whatever that means*
The days this week have been full and long. When I read that back it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m not, at all. It is kind of hard to describe each week, it feels like so much has happened, so many conversations, so much laughter, quiet a lot of work, a fair bit of reading, the usual amounts of over-analysing, a plethora of meetings, pie charts, coffee and mini golf. I don’t think I missed anything. Oh and a burrito of epic proportions.
As I did last week, I looked back over my worldview ingredients list (that reminds me, we also went to Costco, I’m unsure why I love it there so much) anyways. I want to endeavour this coming week to work on that list, finish it (if that’s even possible) and then write it again at the end of my time here and compare – like a “what I believe” time capsule, of sorts.
As I read over the list again, there was one “I believe” that I almost forgot that I wrote, it was at the bottom, looking rather quickly scribbled. “I believe in absolutes”. That might sound like an almost odd thing to write on such a list, maybe it is. It is rather general. However the more I think about it, the more sense it makes for a few reasons. Of course being a Christian I have to believe in absolutes in a way, as in I believe in the absoluteness of God – that is the truth of God. But what I meant when I wrote it down, fitting well at the end, was that there are absolutes in life, things that are unequivocal, unambiguous, undeniable, unchanging.
I think abolitionists and justice seekers in general know well these universal absolutes. To enslave another human being, to destroy their freedom and steal all that they are and could be is absolutely wrong. There is no counter argument, there is no circumstance in which I could relate or agree with it. IT is what it is. I believe in absolutes. *A good argument against anyone who defends post-modernism* I also think that if we as Christians absolutely believe in God and want to follow the path set out by Jesus, and own that truth, then we must fill up the ranks as leaders in the global movement to end modern-day slavery. This is of course true of all people of faith – and anyone for that matter who believes in human dignity, justice and peace as the absolution of freedom. For freedom to exist, almost by definition, it has to be absolute or universal. We may feel free, don’t get me wrong, we are very free in comparison to the 30 million people enslaved, however I believe for each of us to be free, everyone must be free…without this there is no true freedom for any of us.
I also believe the children are the future. Oh great now that’s stuck in my head. We had to sing that song (Greatest Love of All) at my grade six graduation, so I know all the words, awesome.