Looking back to look forward | Daily News

Looking back to look forward

One who has looked forward must also look back and Perfect Prefects features Head Boy of Leeds International School, Matara, Dilan Muentener, who on those mornings almost remembers his childhood and the friends with whom he shared it.

It is good to be a child but it is also good to be grown up and ponder the mystery of childhood and its beliefs and desires. Muentener has a lot to look forward to but he also looks back at the ghosts of a group of children at Leeds, Matara. These are the sweet secrets of childhood.

“To any child that reads this - study well and make sure you create beautiful memories during your school life because one day you’ll look back to remember the bitter sweet memories of friendship not just ink on a sheet of paper,” points out Muentener.

Muentener added that it is very important to have faith in your comrades. The Roman General Julius Caesar’s successes against the Gallic tribes in his Gallic Wars is one example. The Romans respected and feared the Gallic tribes. Though the Gallic tribes were just as strong as the Romans militarily, the internal division among the Gauls guaranteed an easy victory for Caesar. At the end of the day it seems that numbers did not matter. Belief mattered.

“I can confidently say it is very important to have faith in your comrades. The first and most important part of my duty as the Head Boy is to make my fellow prefects believe that they have the ability to accomplish their tasks. Prefects who believe in their abilities are significantly more efficient than those who don’t. Plus, it’s always key to have a plan B for any unexpected turn of events,” explained Muentener.

Putting out other peoples’ candles does not make your candle brighter! He explains that if you want to be a leader, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of your followers. The greatest leaders aren’t dictators. Treat everyone with respect and empower them rather than overpower them. Leadership is about elevating your team and not elevating yourself above the team. Muentener’s liberal views are certainly inspiring.

He is convinced that in the long -term, success belongs to those who do what is right. And success comes to those who practice this consistently. In the short -term, cheating and dishonesty may benefit you, but in the end, in the long-term, dishonesty and cheating will not pay. Courage is another trait he values. It is the ability to keep going on in the midst of challenges, pain and personal mistakes. To him, success is not about becoming better than your peers. Success is about becoming better than who you were yesterday.

A collection of small changes can contribute to a big change in society he points out. There is a saying that childhood is when you idolize Batman, Adulthood is when you realize that the Joker makes more sense. You don’t need to be the caped crusader to make a change in the world. You can make a change in the world by simply being nice to people. Because the next person you are nice to may be someone who really needs it. Like maybe the Joker.

“I wish to promote tolerance, kindness and justice in my environment. With the current situation in the world, it’s crucial that we find ways to be united and not lose our sense of humanity,” stated Muentener.

It grieves him to think about the damage we humans do, to our only planet. He feels that the time is right for us Sri Lankans to voice our concerns and take action to protect our environment. It’s an urgent crisis that needs to be answered by every individual alike he says. Perhaps this is why he wants to become an Astrophysicist. Muentener aspires to have a hand in modern day research that will lead to major breakthroughs in science. It would be a dream and honor for him to represent the great minds of Sri Lanka on an international scale. However, he has other ambitions. Apart from becoming an astrophysicist, he says he would like to be an entrepreneur. Thought it is a risky job, he believes he certainly has the courage and determination to start up his own successful business one day - a businessman with the mind of a scientist.

He points out that during his younger days he did a lot of reading. He adds that it has contributed to his fluency in English and has enabled him to gather knowledge about the world. However, these days he is into playing video games. Gaming has also been a great way to relieve his stress and he says that it has helped him to broaden his analytical skills and develop his ability to focus.

“There are very few examples of great leaders in the present day. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is my ideal role model. His risky decision to invest all his money in the industry of space technology brought him great success. He is a great example for everyone to follow their dreams even when other people would deem it as impossible,” explained Muentener.

He is indebted to his mother who is without doubt an inspirational figure in his life. Without her hard work and dedication, he would probably not have become Head Boy. His father has to live in Switzerland for work purposes and his mother managed to raise the two brothers in a way where they lacked nothing.

Leeds International School, Matara, has offered him many opportunities for self - development and he has made full use of these opportunities. This has enabled him to develop his character. He has also excelled in public speaking and has become a confident young man who is ready to pick up the gauntlet.

“I received 9A’S and the highest marks for mathematics in Sri Lanka in the 2018 Summer IGCSE examinations.

However, I reckon the main reason I was appointed as the head prefect was because of my accountability. I’m a person all my peers can count on when they need help and I always stand up for what I believe is right. I’m always willing to take on new challenges at school and expand my horizons. I’m a very passionate person – this has been especially evident to every staff member and student during my run as the house captain in the sports meet,” said Muentener.