Lesson 4: Authentic people are not arrogant or selfish. They detach from agendas and are never too busy for their own lives or making time for others. They have meaningful relationships with others. First, be authentic yourself; and second, be more authentic with others. The key to this is not to have any hidden agendas!
After witnessing the high drama of the US elections last week, one truly authentic person who has arisen is Kamala Harris. The former prosecutor and senator has broken new ground in becoming the first female black American and the first Asian American to hold the country’s second-highest office. This history-making achievement is a breakthrough for all women globally because it is further evidence that women can do anything.
Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian columnist, writes that “Kamala Harris has spent her life crashing through glass ceilings and accumulating “firsts”. She was the first female district attorney of San Francisco, the first female attorney general of California, the first Indian American in the US Senate, the first Indian American candidate of a major party to run for vice-president. She will become the first female vice-president. If Joe Biden only serves one term, as expected, there is a chance that in 2024 she could become the first black female president”. What a woman!
Harris does have one concern, as she articulated to the Washington Post, “the problem with phrases like “first black female president” is that they confine you into the sort of boxes she has always tried to avoid”. “When I first ran for office, that was one of the things that I struggled with, which is that you are forced through that process to define yourself in a way that you fit neatly into the compartment that other people have created; I am who I am … You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it.” Kamala Harris does not agonise over her identity and this is my wish for every young woman of Glennie - you are who you are; be fine with it; be your authentic self.
Next week, I will have the pleasure of attending various Year 12 celebrations - the Father/Daughter Bowling; the Mother/Daughter Breakfast; the Reflection Circle; the Formal; the Valedictory Eucharist and Graduation. I also believe there is something about “running down a hill”?? All of this I look forward to and urge the girls to savour every moment and cherish it - I know your parents will - your entire school family will be supporting you in this highly charged, emotional time.
The rest of the School has been business as usual and various AGMs have been held. It has been a wonderful revelation to me to see how involved and supportive the Glennie parent body is at the School. They give tirelessly of their time and energy to make the School a better place, and I thank them deeply for this. Glennie would not be the place it is without the thousands of volunteer hours that parents - past and present - give.
With every best wish and blessing for the week ahead,
Ms Mary Anne Evans