Courage means different things to different people. The speakers at TEDx pos 12.12.12 all gave their own meaning to a word that holds the key to life. Living in a land that favours the bold or “lucky” is sometimes a battle, as it is often the one who is persistent enough and passionate about their cause that wins the race.
Here was the day’s line up of #courage:
Patrice Grell Yursik (Afrobella) started off the day by courageously sharing her story of her
|photo credit – C. K. Correia Fort King George, Tobago
personal battles and fight to carve out a niche and claim her place in this world despite disappointment. She explains that it is because of her personal struggles growing up and what society thought of her, that made her who she is today. If it were not for the rocky beginnings she would not be Afrobella – someone who has been an inspiration to many young girls and others who have struggled with the same issues of acceptance.
Afra Raymond gave us food for thought about the political climate both past and present with his wealth of experience in the arena. He challenged us to think outside the box and have a mind of our own.
Christopher Laird gave us a history lesson in the evolution of life in the Caribbean and more so, Trinidad and Tobago in the days of the Federation in the pre-independence era. He defined culture, arts and entertainment, in particular the creation of Gayelle TV in Trinidad and Tobago and what it was like growing up in this time and learning from the stalwarts in the business and later becoming a pioneer in this realm.
Sunity Maharaj echoed my personal sentiments that everyone was created for a purpose. She pointed out that it is important that we take an introspective examination of what our purpose is in this world is, so as to determine who we are and where we are going.
Verna St. Rose Greaves told a story of courage about what her mother taught her as a young girl growing up, caring for her niece who was born prematurely weighing just under 3 lbs at birth. This was a very moving and powerful story about courage and once you heard it, will stay with you for a long time.
Dr. Peter Weller’s talk was deep and provided food for thought about the meaning of the different gender roles in the Caribbean and how both genders can work together to voice their concerns so as to reduce the divide and achieve gender equality. His role as the President of The Caribbean Male Action Network – CariMan and as a clinical psychologist was instrumental in leading the discussion to which both men and women can relate.
Nzinga Job – one word sums up her discussion – Wow! Born in Kenya to Tobagonian parents, she is a qualified music and theatre arts teacher. She has penned a “sex journal” to provide a catharsis for having been raped in her late teens. I would imagine that took some courage to speak to an auditorium packed with strangers about her sexual experiences after rape. It was refreshing to listen as it was therapeutic to tell.
Gillian Lucky – there are no words to describe how amazing her delivery was. So much so that she received a thunderous standing ovation. I did not know what to expect, but after just one line, I was enthralled. She is an amazing speaker. In just under 20 minutes, she demonstrated love for her country, national pride, love and appreciation for her parents who are mentioned more than once, her values learnt from them and how they played a role in her political career and the subsequent decisions she made. She displayed her love for culture, her friends and colleauges, her passion and love for her career as a lawyer and her desire to play a role in influencing change through politics. She was animated, funny as hay and extremely good at what she does. Her passion shines through and she thoroughly captivated her audience. This is a prime example of how important it is to find your niche through your life’s work and this she has. Her retelling of her experience about following her dream to sing a calypso was classic. She spoke vividly of how she engaged the Black Stalin to assist with her delivery and it was especially comical…everyone was in stitches!!
E. Gervase Warner – told of his own experience with courage and overcoming the fear and anger about his daughter and family being held hostage by a bandit in his own home. He asked the audience to forgive others for a wrong that was done to them. He also reached out to the audience by asking them and by extension the nation to become more hospitable to each other so that one day ALL of our people can live as one.
Just to add my two cents about what Courage means to me. To me, courage means being bold enough to pursue your dreams and reach for your goals no matter what anyone says. It means taking a creative step into the unknown if you so desire to bring about change in your life. Courage means soaring to new places that you would not usually visit except in your imagination. It means bringing fantasy into life…reality.
All in all, it was a day well spent from beginning to end. Many thanks to the organizers of TEDx and for extending the invitation to attend. Keep up the great work and continue to inspire and challenge others to face their fears. In time, little by little we can make this world a better place TOGETHER with #courage!
Peace & ♥