Bac’s Facebook page has gone into overdrive.
Since late last week, he has been uploading photo after photo of himself and all his Blue Dragon friends at the annual Blue’s Got Talent gala in our Hanoi centre.
It’s a brilliant affair. The lunch room is converted into a theatre for an afternoon, and the girls and boys get up to perform all kind of acts that they have been practicing for weeks (or longer!) to impress their friends – and a panel of judges.
Some dance, some sing. This year, some made food and drinks as part of their act. Bac’s entry, which earned him 3rd prize, was to put together a sandwich, a Vietnamese banh my.
Other kids have been posting about an event that took place the day before: the graduation of a group of teens from a barista course at our centre. Again, the teens made a sustained effort to learn and perfect some skills, then presented themselves to be assessed. For some, it was the highlight of their lives so far.
The girls and boys who find their way to Blue Dragon are with us because they’ve been through something terrible. It may have been extreme poverty, or slavery, or neglect; every child has their own story.
But that story doesn’t define them. There’s more to each child than something that has happened in their past, no matter how terrible that may be.
We all have something we love, something we are passionate about. That’s what should define us. Why should a horrible circumstance label us forever?
An afternoon of Blue’s Got Talent, or a graduation from a barista course, are the briefest moments in time, and yet they are moments for the kids to stand in a spotlight and say “Look at what I have in me.”
We all need these moments in life. They keep us going when times are tough and all seems a dreary grind.
For Bac and his friends, the beaming photos they have plastered all over social media tell it all. Nobody can take the pride of these moments away from them.