My darling daughter,
On this daughter’s day I could start by saying, “You are the most beautiful girl in the world,” or “You are a princess and there is no one in this world that is prettier than you!” but then I would be lying.
I am sorry, but I don’t want to call you beautiful, pretty or a dainty, delicate darling! You did not choose the way you look today nor did you work towards it. Your face, your eyes even your smile is the result of your genes and there is nothing you can do to change it.
Being called pretty is not a compliment, however, being brave, being kind, and being loving are compliments that you need to be proud of.
Your physical appearance doesn’t define you! Your looks won’t get you good grades or good friends. They won’t facilitate your career or make you a good human being. If you ever get a trophy, a job or the love of your life solely because of your looks then you did not deserve it.
You are brave… You are articulate… You are a good friend. These are better praises than being beautiful!
Strive to be a loving and kind human being, have a good heart and a warm spirit.
Be courageous, positive and determined. Let your presence, personality and empathy be the reason for your happiness and the happiness of those around you.
Having said that, always remember that you are NOT responsible for anyone else’s happiness except yours. Your presence might bring happiness in someone’s life, but at the end of the day they need to create their own happiness.
A person who is dependent on someone else for his happiness will never truly be happy. Happiness is not found within, but created within! Do things that make you happy. Happiness is not always found in money, travel, a successful job or marriage.
Nor can you wait for that special someone who will sweep you off your feet and take you to your happily-ever-after.
Sometimes, the smallest and the most insignificant of things bring the greatest amount of happiness—a small flower growing on the sidewalk, a yellow butterfly fluttering its wings over it, the warmth of the sun on your skin on a cold day, the sound of the raindrops falling on your window pane, the gushing sound of water flowing in a stream, putting a small leaf in it and watching it drift away, or looking at the vastness of the ocean, while standing under the colourful hues of the beautiful sky.
As you grow older, you will realise the happiest moments were the times you spent with your friends, laughing on silly jokes till your stomach hurt, or a picnic with your parents where you sat on the grass eating sandwiches and played with your siblings.
You will look back and remember these times fondly. Happiness is all around you and within you, just listen to your heart and follow its rhythm.
Learn to balance your heart and mind equally, do not underestimate either!
There will be times when you will listen to your mind and at other times, you will listen to your heart. However, each decision requires emotional and cognitive thinking.
As the saying goes: “Always, always, always listen to your heart unless your brain tells you otherwise.” Never dismiss that little voice inside you when it speaks to you.
Never discredit your intuition and gut instinct, our mind has the ability to sense when something is off or when something doesn’t add up. Trust your inner self.
It exists but not just in that one person we look forward to meeting. Your romantic partner is not the only source of love in this world.
You don’t need anyone to make you feel complete, you are not a jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing. You are already whole and complete in yourself.
There is love in your parents’ nagging concern. There is love when your friends tease you. There is love when that stranger in the coffee shop asks you why you are crying, and there is love in those countless memories and conversations with so many beautiful people you will encounter in life.
Cherish this love and take from it. As much as you take, add double when you pass it on.
Never give up on love! Love yourself deeply and let yourself be loved. You will have heartbreaks, you will get betrayed and someone you love might not love you back.
Things change, people change, but remember: you will always have your parents and family to fall back on. If you ever feel uncomfortable talking to your parents: please do talk to your friends, any elder or even someone younger to help you get through.
You will be amazed that there will hardly ever be any people who will refuse to give you a listening ear when you need it. The world is full of kind people.
Help is always ready and will be given when asked. Sometimes the kindness of a stranger helps restore our lost belief in ourselves and humanity.
When you see someone in despair or in need. Be that kind stranger.
Be watchful of what you speak to yourself and to others. Words once said may or may not be forgiven, but they are never forgotten. Be the reason someone believes in themselves, inspire and motivate people.
May you never be the reason someone cries themselves to sleep and doubts their existence. Never be the reason someone gives up what they like or their dreams, because you made them believe they couldn’t do it.
May you never be the reason someone questions their worth and feels the world is a harsh place. Always lift people up and don’t pull them down!
Don’t base your worth on what others speak of you. The only opinion you need to care about is you own. Have the courage to leave the table when you are not valued. Know that you are enough!
You are your best friend and your biggest enemy. Choose your words carefully when you talk to yourself. Be kind and forgiving towards others but first, be kind to yourself.
You will make mistakes and you might look back and hate yourself, but don’t we all make mistakes? How else will we learn? Forgive yourself, but don’t forget the lesson it taught you.
Never say “never” and never say “always” either! Life is unpredictable and it will surprise you in more ways than one.
You are NOT a princess. There is no “prince charming” who is waiting to rescue you. Yes, you could be a “damsel in distress”, but YOU CAN SAVE YOURSELF.
You are strong and capable enough to change a car tyre and equally handle financial problems. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. If there is something that you don’t know about the read, learn and educate yourself. Knowledge is never wasted!
Don’t be afraid to fight and to stand up for yourself and others. Raise your voice when you see injustice or inequality around you. Be the voice of others who can’t speak for themselves. There is no greater good in this world than one human standing up for another.
As Maya Angelou said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
Last but not the least: reach for the stars! The world awaits your brilliance. It is a much better place as “YOU” are in it.
You are perfect just the way you are. You are all of my heart and everything in it.
We love you forever (no matter what),
Mom and dad!