Inspiration can come from anywhere..even from people behind bars.
Just yesterday, we had a fieldtrip to a rehabilitation center for drug users and a prison for high profile crimes. It was a place full of souls who have done wrong in this world. But they’re all behinds bars and walls for a reason–and that is change.
I never thought that people who had lost families and lovers, people who killed and raped women, people whose destinies are confined within fences and police… I never thought that people like these had enough spirit in them to dance and sing and share their stories with us college students.
Yesterday, I got to eat lunch with a 17-year old guy who smoked weeds at age 11. It was his 3rd time in rehab but he said he wanted to change.
“Gusto ko ulit makuha tiwala ng aking mga magulang. Nagbabagong buhay na ako.” (In English: I want to get the trust of my parents back. I want my life to change for the better.)
And later that afternoon, I got to sit and talk with an inmate who had spent 4 years of his life in prison and will be doing so for the next 13 years. I didn’t ask him what crime he did. Of course, I was too scared. But he did leave me with some of his hopes and ambitions.
“Gusto ko maging Computer Engineer. Krimen kami, pero marunong din kaming sumayaw at magpasaya.” (In English: I want to be a Computer Engineer. We are criminals but we also know how to dance and make people happy.)
I almost cried watching the prisoners perform a complicated dance routine and sing very meaningful songs. They conveyed the message that sometimes there are prisons without chains.
The life of a prisoner doesn’t start when they go behind bars… It starts when we get clouded with our own darkness that we see no more light. Some people are prisoners of their own fortune and intelligence. While some are just prisoners of the monsters that leave inside our heads.
Dear reader, I want to share this inspiration with you the way these people did. The world is full of mischief and sometimes we involve ourselves in these wrong things but never ever think that there is no way to change. Crimes are in every way wrong and they affect other people’s lives in ways that they don’t deserve. These criminals, they have done unthinkable things. But then again, they’re also trying to change for the better. I’m not generalizing criminals as people who may be good.
They are criminals. But they are humans too. Not all criminals want to stay criminals. And not all prisoners are chained. Sometimes, we can be prisoners too.