Following the results of the US election, I arrived at the premiere screening of Cycling Angels on Wednesday night with mixed emotions. I was excited to showcase something I’ve worked hard on for the past five years, but I was also anxious of the potentially adverse changes soon to impact the world.
When I saw the kids from the children’s shelter (stars of the doco) arriving at the premiere on a bus, I’m immediately reminded of the reason why my team and I had committed to this project. The resurfaced memory gave me much consolation to the anxiety that had haunted me most of the night.
Five years ago, I was simply amazed at how much these kids had achieved with so little resources they had; all for the dream of returning home one day. Such a simple dream, some may say, but knowing the family backgrounds of the shelter’s children, we knew for some of the kid it was an impossible dream destined to be broken.
They had no say as to the environment that they would grow up in or the parents they would inherit. If there were drug use or domestic violence, they were forced to face it from the people that were meant to be the guardians of such abuse.
If anybody deserved to ask for handouts or free passes, it was these kids without a doubt. But they had never asked me for anything, not even my sympathy.
I was hubris, in my pity of these kids, believing that they would be in need of inspiration from me; when in reality they were the ones who inspired with so much strength to carry on through difficult times all these years.
They were indeed my teachers in many ways.
A 6yr old taught me how to hand wash my clothes…
A 9yr old reminded me of my dreams and gave me pointers on how to achieve it.
A 13yr old taught me how to be tolerant of those that would only abuse you, and be the better person.
Eventually, they all taught me that there will always be elements in life beyond our control. But whatever the environment throws at you, forcing you back so far into darkness that you may no longer be able to see the light anymore; so long as you remember your dreams you’ll still face the same way as before and all you have to do is keep on doing what you gotta do.
They might not remember me when they grow up. But I’ll never forget these little heroes that have taught me so much.