In June 2015, a group of Antiguans (some of whom I know well and others I know of) decided to come together and organize a Tedx ® event for Antigua dubbed: “Fungi and Pepperpot”. This title, coincidentally is named after the local dish of the twin-island state of Antigua & Barbuda.
It, the dish that is, is not only delicious but nourishing and so too were the talks delivered by the speakers of the Antigua Tedx® event. There were five speakers in all from five different back grounds but their deliveries all meshed together in a delightful stew (just like pepperpot) for the ear, heart, mind and spirit.
To say I was left proud, spiritually-uplifted, hopeful and inspired would still be not saying enough about the effect the speakers left on me. When I had heard there was going to be a Tedx ® talk in Antigua it was yet another one of those times when I wished I was “home” to be physically present. However, I am grateful for technology and being able to sit comfortably and watch these videos at my own pace and leisure (and even be able to replay bits that really struck a chord within).
I’m going to attempt to do not a review per se but a reflection of these talks and how they impacted me.
The first talk I’m reflecting on is entitled: “Displacement Breeds discovery” by Marcella Andre’ Georges. Marcella happens to be a friend of mine and is totally a kindred spirit. We were even students at the same high school though in different years.
Although I know Marcella and I share quite a few common interests, ideas and maybe even some ideology…I wasn’t aware of just how much of a kindred spirit she really was until I watched her Tedx ® talk. 🙂
Marcella begins her talk with an invitation to the audience to be prepared to share some intimacy with her and informing them that she intended to get naked. Now, before your eyebrows meet your hairline…she was speaking figuratively of course. She was preparing her listeners for the level of vulnerability and authenticity that she was getting ready share.
Marcella’s talk was centered on how displacement…in whatever form it occurs; whether displacement from one’s country of origin, family, culture or home etc can lead one into discovery of self, purpose or talents just to name a few.
Having been exposed to the devastating effects hurricane David had in her birth country of Dominica at the age of five, Marcella takes us on a verbal and visually-aided journey through time.
She shows and tells how that displacement from her family home and island home led to her “adoption” of another family and another island home. She shared how she came to certain self-discoveries along the way.
During her talk, Marcella was willing to share parts of herself that most of us keep hidden from all but perhaps a few family members and our closest of friends.
When you share things from your past that contributed significantly to the person you are today…even the things that might have caused you hurt or discomfort you implicitly show a part of what has shaped you… your self. It demands a level of vulnerability that only a few feel comfortable doing with someone close to them and more so with a crowd of largely strangers.
To be “naked” with a crowd of strangers requires strength of character, belief in purpose and a spirit of bravery.
How many of us have been naked with ourselves; to look not only in a mirror but to gaze inwardly and see ourselves for who and what we are and for who and what we have become and hopefully…are becoming? My personal journey shares some similarities with my friend and the next time I’m “home” I look forward to sharing with her those kindred similarities. 🙂
As a listener, Marcella’s delivery was effortless. It was 18 minutes and 12 seconds of only a part of her life story; woven together so seamlessly that at the end of it I was left feeling not only inspired but privileged.
Here is Marcella’s Tedx Talk: