Doing a Google search on 25-year-old Darrion Narine is a bewildering experience, given the gamut and range of involvements of this young man. Catholic News reached out to him to gain an insight into what motivates and keeps him energised.
1. How would you describe yourself?
DN: Such a great question! I would describe myself as an individual who enjoys the journey of life. I always enjoy trying new things and venturing out of my comfort zone, so I am definitely a thrill-seeker. Additionally, I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people and lending a helping hand toward the betterment of society, as a social justice advocate. Life is short, so I try to live it at peace with God, self, other human beings and nature.
2. Can you tell us about your early life and how the seeds of both your faith and career pursuits were nurtured?
DN: I’ve enjoyed the privilege of having a very loving and supportive family, who always encouraged me to pursue my passions and dreams but to always remember to put God at the centre. I honestly believe that most of the success I have experienced in life, is because of my grounding in spirituality and my faith in God. As a young boy, I was very reserved, shy and all about my schoolwork. However, I think my involvement in arts, culture and performance helped a lot with my personal development. Growing up with an artistic family made it easy to branch out into the arts and culture. It is often said that life follows art and that art follows life, so once I began playing confident characters on stage, my confidence in real life also grew. That is why, I always encourage people to pursue some sort of art, if even for a short while. (PS I teach adult and children’s acting classes) People often ask me, how do I balance so many things in my life now and still maintain a positive attitude. Honestly, I have been through so many trials and tribulations but I will leave you all with one piece of advice. Take your rosary everywhere you go.
3. Can you list the activities you are involved in now?
DN: Currently I am the Vice Chair Inclusion and Engagement for the Commonwealth Youth Council, an actor with DCShell Theatre, Director of Planning and Development for the Youth
Votes Matter Campaign & Youth Voice, a singer, a Spoken Word poet and I do leadership and skills development training, public speaking training, team building seminars and drama workshops for both children and adults with my company Cindon Productions. Additionally, I am also the Project Coordinator for the Archdiocese Ministry for Migrants and Refugees.
I believe that everything we do and every activity we engage in is either political or affected by the political. Therefore, I see it as being essential for youth to participate in politics. Politics shapes the future world, and if we don’t speak and speak out, we may find ourselves living in a society that does not match the needs of the people or we may find ourselves being governed by people whose hearts are not in the right place. Engaging in politics, doesn’t mean running for government but rather engaging in political discourse, civic education and holding our political leaders accountable. If we want to build a brighter sustainable future, we have to lay a strong foundation today.
4. What drives you? What philosophy do you live by?
DN: A Suzuki drives me LOL On a serious note, my passion to see the world become a better place and a more fair and just society drives me. Since my childhood, I have engaged in altruism. I remember visiting the elderly and the sick as a young boy in primary school, engaging in beach clean-ups and food distribution as a teen and so much more community service acts throughout my life. I believe that the culmination of all these experiences has moved me to try to do my part to improve society and also to improve self. I’ve always been striving to be a better person, so that I can in turn, do my part to make the world a better place. I think so many people are caught up with helping or impacting thousands of lives, that they forget about the ripple effect that deeply impacting just one life can have. More importantly, to truly impact the world, the change must begin with us. We must look within us and ensure that along the journey of life we are striving to be better people, and to do so, we must start by taking care of our mind, body and soul.
As St Josemaría Escrivá preaches, we must always strive to be saintly in our everyday lives. Easier said than done, I know that, but the important thing is to always keep trying.
5. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
DN: I’ve faced many challenges. Sometimes, there will be moments when your patience is tested, other times you may fall prey to temptations. Don’t underestimate the power of the Sacrament of Confession. Additionally, every “failure” is a stepping stone toward doing it better the next time. It is not the end but rather a lesson learnt that will help you to begin again with more strength and vigour. Stay true to self, be honest with self, pray often and a pro tip: at the end of every day remember to do an examination of conscience.
6. What advice would you have for young people, especially now given how difficult 2020 has been?
DN: 2020 has been a rather interesting year filled with many surprises. The best piece of advice that I can give is that there is a silver lining in even the most difficult situations. Life is never going to be a walk in the park. Many people thought that this year would be the year that they achieve and accomplish everything they wanted but rather this year is one to appreciate everything you have and the life you live. Use this time to reconnect with God and to improve your spiritual life and this can be done in the most simplistic ways. For e.g. bless and give thanks for your food, sanctify your work, make a small sacrifice/fast every day for God, share with others… and so much more. I think sometimes we over complicate spirituality in our minds but the journey towards a better and happier spiritual life begins with one step and that single step will transform your entire life. Paz (peace)!
Much love to all who read this article and I hope that you find peace and love wherever you go. Feel free to reach out!