Last week my awesome 13 year old cousin Theresa received the year 8 Dux award at her school’s end of year prize-giving.
Theresa is a wonderfully precocious kid with a love of K-Pop, Netflix, drawing, poetry and spending time with friends and family. She also has an appreciation for global issues, including sustainability and feminism (apparently she and her classmates wrote a letter to Jacinda). Today I found out she is fascinated by Frida Kahlo too.
She is one of those kids who have boundless energy and want to make the most of every opportunity. She already talks about wanting to do an overseas exchange when she’s a few years older.
I am in awe of how composed and confident she is at 13 years of age. She also has impeccable manners that her mum and my mum (sisters) wholeheartedly approve of!
To mark her achievements, my partner and I took her out for lunch where we feasted on the tastiest Korean-inspired food at Tiger Burger. We also spent time looking at books at Dear Reader in Grey Lynn, followed by a look at a few art exhibitions at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson.
Taking the time to celebrate and acknowledge the success of others is supportive, encouraging and empowering for the recipient. It affirms the person and lets them know that they’ve worked hard and have shown resilience, tenacity and grit. It reminds them that their actions have allowed them to thrive.
New Zealanders can be vey modest and understated when we win or succeed at something (or even diminish the successes of others, AKA: Tall Poppy Syndrome). But I think there is nothing wrong in praising the acts of others, especially when they have shown personal growth.
Every success doesn’t need to be rewarded with tangible gifts, but we couldn’t help but gift Theresa the book “Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic New Zealand Women”. There are too many great role-models to mention.
Success comes in all shapes and sizes and even the smallest of acts can be fulfilling and satisfying. I wish Theresa all the best as she navigates the years ahead and continues to thrive.