Farah stands in front of us, moving from one leg to the other nervously. He has always been the shyest of the class and the only one still calling me »Ma′am« instead of Kathy, like the rest of the class. But today, on graduation day, he has to step out of the shadows as well and get his certificate. Proudly his classmates received theirs – printed on thick paper and in colour.
They are now fit for life states the certificate.
Experts in Microsoft Office and customer service. I hope this piece of paper will be their entrance card to a better future and a job. The projects’ initator doesn’t think likewise. He sighs right next to me: »How many of them will be drug addicts by this time next year?«
I know deep inside that he might be right but it’s their graduation and it’s not fair to be that pessimistic on a day where their future shines so bright. I want to say something but Farah gets his certificate and the floor:
»Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?«
It’s dead silent for some seconds, then the class applauds frantically.
I can see in their glowing faces that they recognized themselves in his words. That they found themselves in his shaking voice. That his fear of the future is just like theirs and that the question, if he will always be nothing more then a township boy with big dreams, tortures them in their sleepless nights as well. And I can tell that they needed someone to say these words to them.
We are clapping our hands, wishing them the best and even the initiator of the project falls silent. Because maybe Farah just reminded him that we are all gorgeous and fabulous and that we can all glow from the inside, no matter where we come from or were we are going. We just have to remember that every know and then.