Rooted in resilience | Daily News

Rooted in resilience

Kalutara Vidyalaya National school, Kalutara
Head Boy Chathuka Kashintha
Head Boy Chathuka Kashintha

Suffering an emotional meltdown is something most people fear in the 21st century. This is because today the stakes are high. Perfect Prefects features Head Boy of Kalutara Vidyalaya National school, Chathuka Kashintha, whose dreams make him resilient.

Stress affects all of us. If students did not experience stress they would not perform. If those of us in the workplace did not experience stress, we would end up unemployed. Stress can actually motivate us. In fact, stress is key to our survival. But excessive stress is what you need to guard against. There is a consensus among medical practitioners that emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease. In particular, too much epinephrine/ adrenaline can be harmful to your heart.

When it comes to stress, a leader has to crack the code in his or her own way. Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher said, “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

For Kashintha, satisfaction comes from completing a task that he has put his heart and soul into. A job half done is incomplete and that is not the young man’s style.

“When I am assigned a job, I see the project through to the end because if you get into the habit of not finishing what you start you will not achieve success in life. Also the encouragement I receive from my teachers enables me to satisfactorily complete the task I have been assigned. Their support means a lot to me. We all face stress in life but we need to guard against a meltdown. A leader needs to crack the code in his or her own way,” said Kashintha.

Kashintha calls for an attitudinal change in society and an attitude of love. Humanity can refer to our ability to love and have compassion. It is this very core of our being that is threatened by certain groups. However, it is hard to remember a time in history when this very core of our being has not been under threat. Kashintha feels that it is up to our leaders to show the way and set an example.

What really makes Kashintha passionate are his dreams. If your dreams are bigger than the obstacles you face, then you just might crack that code. Lee Kuan Yew served as Prime Minister of Singapore. Without that powerful dream of his, Singapore would be very different today. This is the power of a dream.

“Personally, I admire Lee Kuan Yew. He is recognized as the nation’s founding father. He is credited with rapidly transforming the country from a developing third world country into a developed first world country within a single generation under his leadership. He is right up there with the greatest leaders in history. I also admire Professor Rangika Halwathura who was a past head prefect in our school,” explained Kashintha.

One piece of advice that he has to offer a young boy or girl is to try not to make mistakes. Anticipate and Prepare.

“If you want to succeed you need to understand that the world out there demands high performance. The modern work place is a very competitive environment. At school level you need to handle your responsibilities with commitment and dedication. And also try and minimize mistakes. You have to anticipate problems. If you can get it all together then you can strike gold,” added Kashintha.

When asked what makes him passionate, he had a two word answer – my dreams. His ambition is to enter the aviation industry. That is part of the dream. But he has bigger dreams. It is possible that from the moment the position of head boy was bestowed upon him, Kashintha had aspirations of being a leader in Sri Lankan society.

“My ambition is to be an aircraft engineer and rise to the top in that field and become an expert. My dream is to become a great and respectable leader,” said Kashintha.

Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. It is entirely possible that our dreams can play a huge part in our ability to handle stress better than others.

Some give up on their dreams while others leaders like Napoleon who dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade, never give up.

He went on to explain that there is a common misconception in society that if anyone takes part in extracurricular activities it will be at the cost of their education.

He points out that if you think intelligently, you will find that both worlds can contribute to cultivating a balanced and well- rounded individual - someone who is skilled, capable or knowledgeable in a lot of different things. Knowledge does not only come through books. By taking part in various activities you will meet various people. The insights you develop will help you in the future,” said Kashintha.

He is a young man who is interested in music and was the bandleader of the school. He is also a great cricket fan.

“My family is my biggest inspiration in life, they have always motivated me and they have been very supportive,” said Kashintha.