Recognise different forms of success

IT IS natural for parents to want the best for their children and to maximise their children's potential. Thus, it is understandable that more parents are taking their children for psychological tests to see if they are gifted ("Gifted? More kids sent for psychology tests"; Thursday).

Nevertheless, we should be careful not to send children the message that their self-worth or success depends solely on their academic performance.

Instead, parents should always let their children know that they are loved unconditionally, and that their worth does not depend on abilities or performance in school.

There are many different forms of success, with many different contributing factors. I agree with Mr George Lim Heng Chye that "there are many other cognitive and social indicators, such as adversity quotient, and social skills, like emotional quotient, that will determine the overall success of a person" ("Risky to gauge potential based purely on IQ"; yesterday).

As our SEA Games athletes have shown us, with their record haul of 259 medals and remarkable displays of sportsmanship, including that of marathon runner Ashley Liew, we can, and should, aspire towards sporting excellence, among others ("Values to learn from successful SEA Games" by Mr Ch'ng Teck Heong; Thursday).

Above all, the best gift that parents can give their children is sound moral character, with a set of right values, such as determination, self-control, compassion and empathy. These will enable children to not only maximise their potential but also know how to use these gifts to benefit others and build a better society.

By recognising the value and various successes of all people, let us build a Singapore "where everyone can feel proud of what they do, and is respected for their contributions and character, where anyone can improve his life if he works hard, and everyone can hope for a better future" - to quote Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally last year ("Building opportunities by matching skills to jobs"; Aug 18, 2014).

Darius Lee

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