Natalie Wartew | Looking Forward

“Looking Forward”                    

‘Being in a condition of advancement.  Ready, prompt, eager’

As a group, we have come to a point in the Fellowship where we realise that we are no longer firmly embedded in Not For Sale in the same way that we have been for the last few months.  We are transitioning into a new phase, which requires a great deal of personal reflection, while simultaneously ‘looking forward’, to see where this experience will both culminate and continue.


When I hear ‘looking forward’, I imagine a very literal interpretation of looking ahead – what is coming next?  What will I be doing?  Where will I be?  But I think the process of looking forward is more than just deciding on the next step – I think it is exactly that: a process.


I had to look up a definition of ‘forward’ to broaden my perspective.  Forward is: ‘toward or at a place, point, or time in advance.  Onwards. Ahead: From this day forward.  Directed toward a point in advance, moving ahead, onward, a forward motion.  Being in a condition of advancement.  Ready, prompt, or eager.”


There is a general sense of movement and momentum – to be moving ahead – to be advancing. By nature, we are all constantly looking forward.  There is something innate in all of us which causes us to dream, and to plan; to imagine both the possible and the impossible – to dream of a future that is even better than where we are now.  This is Not For Sale.  To dream the future:  a universally adopted zero-tolerance attitude to slavery, where human trafficking does not have the opportunity to thrive.


This week I stumbled across a YouTube video from ‘Korea’s Got Talent’.  I think the attraction of televised talent shows is that they provide a rare ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for ordinary people to achieve their dreams.  The actualisation of a once impossible dream becomes potentially achievable.  An alternative future becomes possible.

The internet tells me that the chances of getting struck by lightning is 1 in 1 million.  Sung-Bong Choi’s story is 1 in 30 million.  There are currently more than 30 million people living in slavery worldwide, and an even greater number who are vulnerable to trafficking.  The emotion in this video is evident – both the judges and audience are moved to tears by Sung Bong’s potential – stifled by circumstances.  More than that, we are moved by hope – the hope that winning this competition will provide him a way out – will create for him a future.


This is Not For Sale.  To create futures: tangible, palpable, physical, alternatives for individuals – for every individual who is a survivor of, or vulnerable to, human trafficking.  The beauty however of NFS  compared with ‘[insert country]’s got Talent’, is that we do not have to rely on the ‘chance’ of winning.  Through initiatives such as Montara Circle, and innovative enterprise, we can intentionally “look forward” and initiate strategy to create the appropriate solutions.


“Looking forward” is ‘being in a condition of advancement.  Ready, prompt, eager.’  We cannot remain in the present, or continue to operate as we do now, if we expect the future to be different.  Whatever is coming next for me as an individual, or Not For Sale as a movement requires action, made possible through an attitude of ‘readiness’ and ‘eagerness’.


Natalie x


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