Yesterday I woke up, very cognisant of the date and upcoming events for many of my friends and their children, who are peers of my eldest child. It was the day, most twelve year olds in Singapore would receive the results of their Primary School Leaving Examinations. To each and every student, this is my letter to you.
Dear Bright Star,
I wish you all the very best for this day. It is indeed a milestone. I wish and hope you will enjoy today for what it signifies. Take the time to stop, breathe and notice your surroundings. Acknowledge how you are feeling.
Congratulations your remarkable dedication, tenacity and faith. Most importantly, today is a celebration of a resolute belief in you.
Recognise that no matter what, you are truly loved, with devoted parents, precious family and loyal friends. Teachers, tutors and many others, have inspired, encouraged and shared their lives with you during your recent journey. Take time to acknowledge them with gratitude.
There lies an exciting life ahead of you. You are twelve years old. Statistics tell us you will live a long and healthy life, past eighty years of age. Which means this is only chapter one. You have at least seven more chapters to discover, explore and fill the pages of the book of your life.
After the intensity of the past months, take a few moments reflect on the A, B, Cs below as you fill in the pages of your book:
A is for Awareness of who you are. Self-awareness will differentiate you. Who am I? What motivates me? What is it that truly makes my heart pound and fingers tingle with excitement? What are my passions? What do I stand for? Discover your individuality. Celebrate your strengths and fearlessly uncover your limitations. Have awareness that you are not alone. You are part of a family, a larger community that loves you deeply. Your actions and inactions affect and influence all who are around you. Be aware that you play an important, meaningful and unique role in this world. Be gracious to those around you.
B is for Bravery. Be brave as you learn. Dare to try new things. Speak confidently from your heart. Be unafraid to ask for help. Stay centred in the face of chaos. Have courage to make choices.
C is for Compassion. Be loving and forgiving of yourself. For only after you experience true self-compassion, can you graciously accept kindness from others, and in turn, be kind-hearted. Connect with people around you, with consideration and thoughtfulness. Acts of compassion and empathy hold great power and have an eternal impact on those you touch. This is your gift to all humanity.
Every event is a passing moment that we can neither hold on to nor make disappear. It is what we do with the emotions and reflections, that define the experience and shape who we are.
You are the future of the society, which we will share as individuals. You are destined to do invaluable work in this world. Continue to trust and believe in yourself. You are a star, choose how you will shine.