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Random Acts of Kindness
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009

By Derren Joseph
August 27, 2009

Last week, as usual, I spoke about the need for greater positivity. The morning after the Soca Warriors' victory, I was listening to the Power Breakfast on Power 102 and was a bit thrown off by some of the feedback from callers. On balance, the phone calls were overwhelmingly positive, but there were still a few who insisted on being less than positive.

Not that I am against open and honest exchanges. In fact, I am all for it. But at the same time, I understand that, as my friend Brent Madden once told me, someone could cure cancer and some people still would not be satisfied with that. They may still seek to pull her down.

In talking about sweet Trinidad and Tobago, when I hear someone being overly critical, the first question I like to ask is - and what are you doing to effect positive change? Many quickly go quiet - at least for a while.

While some people are content to criticize from the sidelines, there are many in the trenches. Deep in the trenches spreading what I like to call - positive energy. It is to these soldiers of positivity that I tip my hat every week. This week is no exception.

Last Sunday, I visited Brazil High School to support my friend Darren Dookeeram and the rest of the team of the North Branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (TTMA). They hosted an outreach initiative. It was a day of lectures and free clinics for residents in the Talparo, Mundoneuvo, Las Lomas, Cumuto, Tamana, La Horquetta, El Quemado and San Raphael areas.

There were about 65 health professionals who gave their entire Sunday to serve others. From what I understand, the funding for the event came out of their own pockets. Drug companies donated medicines for those who were deemed to need it, and free meals were provided to those who attended.

What also impressed me about the initiative is that the vast majority of the medical professionals that were there, in my opinion, were young. That says much about the future of our country's health system. Rather than liming or even just relaxing at home, they were there on their feet - being of service to others. For free! Kudos to the North Branch of the TTMA!

For us, it was also an opportunity to explore more of our beautiful country. It was actually the first time that I visited the village of Brazil. It was a scenic and enjoyable drive to Brazil and back. We could not help but stop along the way to take pictures! I highly recommend it to those who enjoy exploring our local treasures.

One site that got our attention was the San Raphael Roman Catholic Church. Opposite the church there was a statue of St. Raphael (the healer) himself. I was pleased that we found it so easily. My mother had told us to look out for it as it was a beautiful building and a landmark that sits in the middles of the community. Those who know about the Arena Massacre of 1699 appreciate that this area has a very interesting history.

Going back to acts of kindness, this evening (Sunday 23rd), the Ingars Initiative is hosting the "Small Change for Big Change" event at the Queens Park Oval. They ask that you walk with your cooler and 10 cans of food. These cans will be donated to orphanages and children homes across rural Trinidad. Ring 792 3241 or 735 0231 for more details.

This initiative is in honor of Jonathon Inglefield, the son of Sharon Inglefield, CEO of Nealco Real Estate, who passed away earlier this year but who left his mark on those who knew him. His personal mantra was - "Together We Can Change This". A few of his friends have come together with an idea to effect positive change and so are hosting this event.

The Vision 2020 document notes that in a caring society:
"...empowered citizens should belong to vibrant community-based groups that voice their opinions, take responsibility for, and participate in the development of their communities. The clearest evidence of such change should manifest itself in an increase in the number of active community-based and non-governmental organizations."

Let us continue to be part of the solution. As always, I end by saying that despite our challenges, we are so blessed to live in this beautiful country. We need to remember and acknowledge just how much uplifting work is being done all around us.

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