This Letter Addressed To Parents Of Students Keeps Going Viral For Good Reason

“There is an artist, who doesn't need to understand Math.”

Even with social media exposing us to the many ways one can be be happy through alternative life paths, many still have a narrow view of what it means to be successful.  Our ideas of success are shaped by our culture, family, upbringing, etc., and often include getting good grades in school, getting into a good college, studying a good, practical major, and then getting a stable job. 

But as we've seen time and again, success isn't always the result of such a traditional trajectory. 

For the last few years an inspiring letter, supposedly from a principal in Singapore sent to the parents of students before exams, has made its way through the interwebs. And while its origins are unclear and its authenticity called into question, it's virality is attributed to its powerful and timeless message that resonates with so many.  

The letter resurfaced this week on Reddit, and has reached over 40,000 users. 

"The exams of your child are to start soon," it says in the letter. "I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well." It goes on to remind parents that scores don't define a student's abilities or determine their future success. Sometimes the actual test subject doesn't even apply to the student's core interests and skill. 

We are so much more than standardized performance. Each and every one of us has a strength, and just because you aren't strong in one topic doesn't mean you can't excel in another. A fish who can't fly isn't a bad bird, it's just a fish. 

Success does not have to be measured in college degrees, dollars, or clout — it's something defined on an individual basis. 

Cover image  by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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