I learnt my first very important lesson in life when I started primary school.

My first primary school was Germiston South Primary (and yes, I lived in Germiston for the first 13 years of my life). The school’s motto was PERSEVERE TO SUCCEED.

Such big words for a little girl in grade one. Big words that mean so very much. I remember Mrs Van Der Spuy, my grade one teacher, explaining that it means to never give up; to try and try and try until you eventually get it right – like the little engine who could.

That was my very first lesson in life; to never give up, to try until I get it right, to believe in myself and know that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

Every so often, Aidan will utter those loathsome words “I can’t!” And then my story of the “little engine who could” is told to this bright little boy. Nothing beats that smile when he realises that what he “can’t do”, he CAN do!

I have carried those words with me up to now and it is the one lesson that I will teach my children, god-children and Aidan.

I want them to turn their “I can’ts” into “I CAN”.


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