Let there be light! | Daily News

Let there be light!

Pushpadana Girls’ College, Kandy:

Head Girl of Pushpadana Girls’ College, Kandy, Kithmi Madawala considers her school, a Cynosure of Virtue. Perfect Prefects features Madawala who brings out the light within others.

If you take her entire life, it is about light. I genuinely want to bring out the light within others, she says. The motto of her school is ‘Wisdom shines through character’. ‘Cynosure of virtue’, ‘Wisdom shines through character’ can be encapsulated in a quote by Bram Stoker - ‘There is darkness in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights’.

A global issue that makes her passionate is racism. This is a very current topic when you think of the death of George Floyd in America, a case which was an example of police racism. Multiple witnesses filmed the encounter. Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying ‘I can’t breathe’, ‘Please’, and ‘Mama’.

“I personally oppose racial discrimination and color bar. I am distressed about the way certain people look down on each other due to their religion, race or color. It is sad to see how inhuman and insensitive the world has become. Most people seem to have forgotten that we are all of the same human race. In my opinion what really matters is our humanity. We need to be united for the betterment of mankind. I also want to bring about a positive change in society and to become a valuable citizen in Sri Lanka,” explained Madawala.

“I consider my school as a cynosure of virtue! Along with the brilliant education, Mother Pushpadana provides the framework for young girls to become righteous ladies, following our motto, ‘Wisdom shines through character’. Whatever I gained from my school has always assisted me to take another step towards success. May my alma mater live long! The opportunities, values, lessons and the facilities my school has given me are immeasurable. I shall forever be indebted to my school for helping me grow up as an independent and strong individual,” explained Madawala.

It is said that the phrase ‘Know Thyself’ was constantly on the lips of the Greek God Apollo who is known as the God of Prophecy and Knowledge. The motto of Madawala’s school is of course ‘Wisdom shines through character’. She believes that nobody knows you better than yourself and that you should recognize your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses. And is that not wisdom?

She says that it takes a better man to acknowledge goodness in others than it does to be merely good. When she thinks of society she laments about the lack of positivity. Saying that pessimism in society sometimes nips ambition and the self -esteem of individuals in the bud.

“Spreading negativity camouflages one’s true capabilities and unfortunately people seem to lose awareness of their own virtues. Anyone can criticize or accept praise, but initiating positivity is a different kettle of fish. I would love to help others to feel good about themselves and to identify their hidden capabilities. Regardless of the current backstabbing in society, I genuinely want to bring out the light within others. I may not be able to change the whole world, but I hope to inspire and save those who are trapped in the shadow of negativity, who suffer mockery in our society,” points out Madawala.

Her motivation has a lot to do with team work. The backing of her team has enabled her to fully focus on her goals. Moreover, dedication and commitment to get things done properly, having a clear plan and always listening to others’ ideas have certainly aided her. She fully appreciates the immense support she has received from her teachers and parents.

“Being Head Girl involves many duties and responsibilities. I am expected to fulfill my obligations and to balance my studies simultaneously. I personally believe that I tend to work up to my potential level under some pressure than functioning in an excessively placid environment. The key is to handle pressure without panic. I look at my tasks as challenges, not as a crisis which will complicate matters further. This helps me to focus on my goals and to escape unnecessary stress. Moreover, I believe that optimism is a game changer that keeps you strong and moving ahead even during the most difficult times. I like to keep things simple and to sort out my priorities, avoiding any complications. Further I believe that preparing for the unexpected and acting in a controlled manner helps me to handle the challenge of being the Head Prefect,” said Madawala.

Her dream is to have a secure future where she won’t be dependent on anyone. Her ambition is to become a lecturer of English Literature and she wishes to reach the utmost echelon of her career. She added that she has nothing but gratitude towards those who have helped her along the way and this includes her parents, teachers and friends.

When thinking of leadership and the colossal task of solving the problems that are tearing the world apart, she looks up to the peace makers. Among them are Jacinda Ardern who said that extremist views have no place in New Zealand after the Christchurch attack. She said that those who denounce extremism stand for diversity, kindness and compassion. These values cannot be shaken by that attack.

“In my point of view some of the most remarkable leaders that ever walked the planet are Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi proved that a leader doesn’t have to be aggressive to achieve victory by leading his people towards independence through non -violence. Nelson Mandela was also a man of peace. He inspired people to be humble. I’ve learnt many lessons from these leaders of the past. A present day leader that I greatly admire is the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. She is a strong and independent female leader who truly cares about the people around her. She has showcased her responsible character in different situations and inspires young girls to become leaders in the future,” added Madawala.

Madawala has many outside interests such as travel. She is also a student of French and English Literature. These pursuits are no doubt the result of a deep interest to explore and learn. The lure of the unknown and the unseen has enabled her to discover new cultures and new friends. She enjoys movies, TV shows and books and enjoys listening to various genres of music – Western, Country and Local.

According to Madawala, society is now becoming a very scary place. Human qualities such as kindness and goodness have now been abandoned by people who are in a rat race to earn money. For some people their greed for wealth and material gain is even more important to them than the life of another human being. True friends are difficult to find because so many have ulterior motives. She feels that as the youth we have the power to change the course we, as a people are taking. As the present generation she feels that we need to give back to our country. We need to save humanity she says.

“The biggest inspiration in my life since childhood are my parents. Both of them are determined and assertive individuals. I learnt to be altruistic from my mother. She’s a teacher and has always practiced giving which inspired me to be selfless. Being a leader himself, my father too played a big role in forming my character. I learnt from him, how to be proactive and to sort out my priorities. My parents have supported me and been with me through thick and thin and I am always grateful to them,” said Madawala.