If you missed the event last Friday at the Crystal Theater, you missed.
The event featured Arnaud Collery, Chief Happiness Officer with the quirky French accent, on his seventh workshop on the island, and while I heard his spiel before, it is always entertaining and enlightening.
The best part of the evening, six local professionals on fire, who spoke about their pet passions in a fresh and delightful way, rare in our more formal, constipated and repetitive public speaking culture.
Lionel Rummit described the deep sense of satisfaction that comes with working as a job coach at Trampoline pa Trabao with challenged clients, who find fulfilment at their job.
Nurianne Helder allowed us a peak into Diabetes 2, a long-term metabolic disorder, which she heroically doesn’t let stand in her way.
Diego Acevedo, inspired by his daughter, talked about abandoning the traditional corporate world to push for a positive change in the direction of Renewable Ocean Energy, while advocating for a Circular Economy and the often neglected three Rs – Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.
Theresa Montenarello, an ISA math teacher, described her resolve to introduce young kids especially girls to saws, drills and tinkering in an effort to lead them to STEM professions – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Joase-Ann van Der Biest, introduced her upcoming new, social, community project, Bazrrrrr, that will make her a Gallery Owner, and the supporter of the UN’s 17 SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals.
Last but not least my adorable friend Indra Zaandam. She talked for two minutes flat and packed a huge punch. She got on stage in a cute red dress and surprise, what looked like comfortable, cushy sneakers. I noted it was a strange combo for a fashionista. But following her short, heartfelt confession, I get it. I am already in sneakers quite often, because I am a long-distance runner too.
What Indra said was poignant. She likened her work in the ‘public sector’ to a toilet, where things get dumped and thrown around, and she was tired, she said, tired of standing up and fighting for what seems obvious: nature, culture, heritage.
But she learned it is not about being slam-bang right. It is about a dialogue, a long, drawn-out compromise, which requires comfortable shoes, because this is going to take a while, to listen to all those conflicting points of views, and to work towards consensus.
With her two-minute pep talk she propped me right up. From now on if you see me in sneakers, you know why, I am tired, but not giving up, I am in the trenches fighting for what seems obvious, but I am not alone.
The evening was put together by Cornerstone Economics, a husband and wife duo, Rendell De Kort and Lay Hing De Kort Yee, both tireless and idealistic.
In the words of Roy Mezas: All we need to really experience meaningful change in Aruba is another 120 “Stand Up for Passion,” events, stirring 100 people into TRUTH, PURPOSE & PASSION, at a time.