Imagine growing up in rural El Salvador. Imagine not being able to speak. Imagine not being allowed to go to school. Imagine you think you’re the only person in the entire world who can’t hear. Now imagine all this happening at once.
Got it? Got just how alone and hopeless you might feel? I mean, no, you don’t, because you can’t really comprehend this feeling if you haven’t experienced it. So we’ll just move on.
Now imagine you’re in the US. You’ve never spoken, written, read, or heard anything. Then one day you hear your own footsteps. Six months later you know some sign language, understand Spanish, can even say some words, and can write your name. You have Facebook friends and friends in real life. You’re going to school. You have dreams of a career, a life, success.
It sounds like a movie, doesn’t it? And yet, it’s real. I met the teenager whose life this is. I spoke with him (to the extent that my nonexistent Spanish and sign language skills allowed). I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and I saw how he lit up describing his classmates. I witnessed, right in front of me, the joy of simply being with your family, learning, hoping, living, when a year ago you thought none of that was a possibility.
You can’t make this stuff up. But you can shoot it for a video with the intention of showing others the amazing resilience of the human spirit and the genuine good of certain human beings. And how, above all, with hope and faith, the impossible becomes possible. I don’t care how cliché or cheesy that sounds. It’s real life.