Hard work pays | Daily News

Hard work pays

Lyceum International School, Ratnapura

There is no doubt that Head Prefects of Lyceum International School, Ratnapura, Aathiq Jameel, Ivy Samarakoon, Moshen Weerasinghe and Tharumini Gamage embody the idealism of youth. Perfect Prefect features these Head Prefects who also understand that in order to make one’s dreams come true, one must put in the hard work.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Head Boy, Lyceum International School, Ratnapura, Moshen Weerasinghe motivation is the name of the game. Weerasinghe says that ‘Aim for the moon and you’ll end up in the stars’. He is an extraordinarily motivated individual and understands that a leader should be able to motivate others. But along with his motivation comes a sense of right and wrong. He also believes in being fair and just.

“If I get the chance to make even a small difference in society, it would be making sure that the rules apply to everyone and that no one is above the law. As a society we must be fair to everyone in our community. I am committed to creating a society based on equality irrespective of a person’s background. I think we must stop separating people according to skin color, religion and language. If this is inculcated in a child at an early age, I believe that we can create the perfect society,” explained Weerasinghe.

Head Boy Moshen Weerasinghe
Head Boy Aathiq Jameel

For Weerasinghe compassion and kindness are attributes he admires in anyone. But sometimes he says he feels that people are reluctant or hesitant to develop that part of their personality. He perceives that there is a lot of corruption in our society. According to him some people are lovers of money. In such a social setting he says that it is imperative that the rules be strict.

“I feel that the youth should be confident but at the same time they should be realistic. There are many risks when you step into the society. People may spread rumors about you when you achieve success and may be unduly critical when you make mistakes. Focus on your goals and never give up. Honesty is also the best policy. If you want to be an effective leader, I say that you should never be biased. A leader influences the behavior and attitudes of others. As a leader if I follow the correct path and become an example to others. I am willing to put my ego aside and acknowledge my fault,” added Weerasinghe.

He speaks the truth when he says that a leader should follow the correct path. History has taught us that a strong leader can achieve many things. But if he is not a good man or woman, then the consequences can be devastating.

“The biggest inspiration in my life is my mother and my teachers. My mother motivates me and is there for me if I am facing any difficulty in life. Together we can face any problem. We are a team. My teachers are also my true friends who have helped me achieve my goals and have shown me the correct path.”

The ability to inspire others is not something that every leader possesses. You can be appointed as a leader but you may not be successful. You have to connect with people on a deeper level. It is only then you can inspire them. Nelson Mandela was strong minded says Weerasinghe. And because of this he was able to lead his people towards a better future. Barack Obama was known as an electrifying orator, whose speeches had an impact on people. People were able to actually relate to these two leaders.

Head Girl, Lyceum International School,Ratnapura, Ivy Samarakoon, proudly says that students at Lyceum are capable of being fierce and are able to cut through any obstacle. When Samarakoon says fierce she means that the students play the game with with fierce determination. Samarakoon like her fellow Head Prefects understand that in order to make your dreams come true you need to put in the hard work.

“I have many goals that I wish to achieve in the future. But I feel you can accomplish nothing just by dreaming. There is no point in my saying – this is my aim and this is what I want to become, without putting my words into action. One day I want to become a useful citizen to my motherland and contribute towards making the world a better place,” said Samarakoon.

Head Girl Tharumini Gamage
Head Girl Ivy Samarakoon

Sometimes we become disillusioned men and women after facing the trials and tribulations of life. However, Samarakoon feels that these are moments when we need to hold onto optimism.

“I would want to help create a society where optimism is seen as a must and not just a choice. I would like to tell all those youngsters out there to try to be more confident and remember that everyone comes into our life for a reason, some for good or bad. These are all valuable lessons in life. The secret to my success is the fact that I am well organized individual.”

It is clear to Samarakoon that during this current global pandemic Leadership is being tested in ways the world hasn’t seen in generations. Because the simple truth is that people look to their leaders for assurance and guidance. The way we live has changed. And we know that adapting to change can be hard. But then she started to reflect on the good things in her life and began to grow more and more optimistic each day. This helped her gain clarity.

“One leader that I admire is our school’s founder, Dr. Mohan Lal Grero. What I most admire about him is his vision which has resulted in the opening of Lyceum International Schools. Lyceum exists to provide a standard education system giving priority to students individually and providing opportunities for students to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially. There are thousands of Lyceumers who have achieved tremendous success in their lives,” stated Samarakoon.

Samarakoon also laid emphasis on the importance of education saying it leads to social development. We all know that Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. The success of society is linked to the well-being of each and every citizen

For Samarakoon, her biggest inspiration in life is her mother. She says her mother is the biggest supporter in her life. “I strive to be the woman that she is, as I believe she is a very self-confident and patient person. She has the ability to easily connect with people and cares for them immensely. She is hard working and passionate when it comes to life and because of her honesty I can rely on her.”

Head Boy Lyceum International School, Ratnapura, Aathiq Jameel like his fellow Lyceumers, believes in order to be successful one must be motivated and work hard. For Jameel it is a dream come true as from childhood his dream was to become a senior prefect. He has worked hard to achieve his goals.

Jameel like many of his age has seen and heard things that no one should have to see or hear. He has seen a world where the Covid19 global pandemic has severely affected the global economy and financial markets. He has seen a pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 4 million people.

Unfortunately, almost everywhere in the world many people refused to follow simple instructions given on the news by medical professionals – wear masks, maintain social distancing and leave the house only when absolutely necessary. This was repeated over and over again on the news.

“During this pandemic people have been very careless not following safety guidelines. In my own small way, I always make it a point to remind people of the consequences of being careless and breaking the rules. I do this with people I have contact with,” explained Jameel.

Head Boy Moshen in the team becoming runners up in the provincial basketball championships held at Sumana Balika Vidyalaya

He feels that alcohol is a contributing factor when it comes to poverty. Many of us have first- hand experience when it comes to alcoholism. Usually it is a family member who has fallen under the influence of alcohol. When you fall under the influence of alcohol the first thing to go is your money. Due to alcohol, parental roles are neglected and too often abandoned, wages are drowned in alcohol, household economy is ruined, jobs are lost and health issues even exacerbate the dire situation. The scarce resources cannot be invested in healthy, nutritious food and children’s primary education and school material, often depriving children of their right to primary education. Jameel adds that through proper guidance the child will not fall into these destructive habits. For those who really want to stop, there are organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous. But of course if you are not serious about stopping then no one can help.

“Never give up when it comes to life. Face life with courage. We have to face so many challenges in life. Sometimes it takes a little patience on our part. Think good. Do good. Be good. I personally want to be an eye surgeon. Because there is so much beauty in this world.”

Jameel points out that he admires former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who once said – ‘Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts’ All four Lyceumers in this interview believe in the power of dreams.

Head Girl, Lyceum International School,Ratnapura, Tharumini Gamage, like all of her three colleagues embodies the idealism of youth. Yet she knows that without putting in the hard work nothing can be accomplished.

“Nothing can be achieved without hard work. Something that I have learnt in my life is to stay determined even during failures. Then I will be motivated to do better next time. Another secret to success is having the passion. Without loving what we do, we won’t get any happiness in doing the job,” said Gamage.

Too often we judge a book by its cover. However, Gamage believes that everyone should get a chance regardless of their caste, status or gender in the society. We are all human beings she says. She also feels that day by day people are losing their humanity. Instead they are running after money and power. The standards of humanity we adhere to can make a huge difference in society.

Gamage is very concerned about the way we are destroying the world around us. Global Warming is the result of our actions. Global warming is behind the erratic weather patterns, droughts, hurricanes and flooding. Because of deforestation we lose trees that suck in the carbon dioxide. She is also indignant when it comes to discrimination and injustice. This is because she feels everyone should be treated equally. Gamage admires Martin Luther King Jr. because he fearlessly fought discrimination. She is motivated by his bravery and how he stood up for equality. I am also inspired by Malala Yousafzai, an extraordinary activist for the right to education.

“I want to be independent and self-sufficient. But it is not only my life I am concerned about other people as well and I want to help them improve their lives. I also want to travel the world and visit all these amazing places. I also want to learn about what is beyond our Earth - different galaxies, planets and black holes that are present in this universe. The people whom I look up to are none other than my parents. Without their guidance, reaching my goals would be impossible.”

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