Telling People Good Things Day
Our words have power, the power to inflict wounds on someone, as well as the power to heal them emotionally; when used in a positive way, our words can be a source of great encouragement to someone facing serious challenges but using them maliciously or with evil intent can bring harm to others.
Monday, September 17th, 2018 was ‘Telling People Good Things Day” which is an annual event celebrated by Coady International Institute and has been in existence for the past eleven years.
The day is akin to Saint Valentine’s Day. It is used primarily to share love and inspirational words to others, especially those who need them the most. It was established by Tammy Darnasky, a person living with a disability.
This year, the Director and staff of the Community Development Division within the Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development Youth & Gender Affairs were chosen to bring love and cheer to persons living with disabilities.
Those officiating the short ceremony were Permanent Secretary Sharon Stevens, Brenda Odlum, Director and Regan Calliste, Director of the National Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
Other officials included: Susan Lake, Acting Administrator of Health Institutions within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Bernard Warner, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Disability Association and motivational speaker Yolanda Goodwin.
Staff and trainees of the Centre were asked to wear something red in honour of the day’s activity but for all in attendance, it was a sobering moment when Stevens delivered her brief remarks.
“We are here for a purpose, to change lives and make a difference, we should not wait until persons are dead. We should send positive quotations to loved ones, family and friends, for life is fragile; share love every day, let them know that they are special, red is also the symbol of love.”
The audience was further inspired and challenged by motivational speaker Yolanda Goodwin.
“As individuals, we were all made in the image of God. We are individuals with unique abilities, talents, and needs. There are no special needs children. Just children with special needs.
For those living with disabilities, it was a light moment as they uttered in unison the sentiments expressed by Goodwin, ‘I am Able, I believe, I am loved and I love myself.’