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I am not an island

This blog was actually already written yesterday, but for some or other mysterious reason, autosave was off and hence, I lost all its content. So this is then my second attempt at trying to convey one of the fundamental principles in life - we are not islands.

This morning's social media confirmed this message - photo's of a little Faf De Klerk standing next to his childhood rugby hero, Joost van der Westhuizen... and it made me wonder; who were the mentors in my life that shaped and formed me?

As a young girl, I had two specific dreams; firstly, I wanted to become a singer, hearing my songs on the radio, oh and I wanted to produce a "plaat" (vinyl record). 40 years later this dream has partially come true. I am still working on fulfilling the full picture. Thinking back I remember my choir teacher, Mrs. Mathyssen, who always challenged me to become a better version of who I was the previous year / competition. She was very strict and although I felt I was maybe not necessarily her favourite, she was the person who trained me for most of my singing and acting performances. She was ultimately also the one who painted a picture for me of this singer, one day standing on a stage in front of thousands of people. I still hope that she will one day have the opportunity to see me performing on that stage.

Later in High School I started to write poetry and short stories which lead me to my second dream of one day becoming a published author. This little flame was lit by my Afrikaans teacher, Mr. Botha, who during my matric year, championed and encouraged me to strive for a distinction - which in the end was the one and only distinction I could secure. I remember he promised me just before the final exams, that he will one day be the first to buy a copy of my book . Watch this space...

Apart from being created by God with talents, skills and abilities as well as finding yourself in a conducive environment for growth; I believe one of the most important contributors to any person's success in life, is the support and guidance of leaders and mentors on our path. Those few people who were able to push us to not give up even although all the odds were against us. Be it a parent, a teacher, a coach. Whether through words or deeds.

Alone, I would not have been able to become who I am today. I needed people from a young age who believed in me and who challenged me to dream. And today I am humbled by each opportunity and open door, which they indirectly opened for me by just believing in the girl called Madelaine. And as a token of appreciation I pray I can be that person for my children and their friends and other young people. Because we are not islands and we need each other to call forth what God has placed in us and which we might not be able to see ourselves.

With only a few weeks left of this year, may this become your mission. Finding others to champion.

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