On a very basic level, I guess I can appreciate what the Foundation for a Better Life is trying to do. Their mission statement, according to their website, is "to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race." Nothing wrong with that, right?
Here's the problem I have with this: the reason it's not a big deal that Einstein didn't have good grades in grammar school is that he turned out to be Albert Fucking Einstein. I know what they're trying to do with this billboard, but it ends up being counterintuitive - the unintentional message is that there's nothing wrong with getting bad grades, which is of course total horseshit. There is nothing wrong with getting bad grades, I suppose, if you're so much of a genius that you're capable of writing equations that sum up grand, sweeping laws of the universe. To how many people does this actually apply?
Also, "As a student, he was no Einstein" is dumb because of course he was. The reason Einstein didn't always do well in school is because he was far too smart for the teaching methods being used at the schools he attended. It's important to remember that this is almost certainly not true of your kid. Moreover, the amorphous notion of "confidence" has fuck-all to do with it, as I think Einstein himself would probably tell you.
This one just annoys me. "Believe in yourself?" Look, I don't care how many movies they made, Shrek is not a real person. He is a movie character, and everything that happens to him was scripted that way. This isn't like, "Queen Elizabeth was once a lowly maid until she saved a prince's life and he decided to marry her!" Some screenwriter said, "Hey, Shrek is the main character in our kids' movie; do you think, as the hero, he should succeed?" And then the others said, "Of course!" And now it's on a billboard. Sure, it's important to believe in yourself. But we really couldn't find anyone who actually exists in real life to illustrate this point? I'm actually kind of offended that the Foundation thinks a cartoon character is a better illustration of the human spirit than a genuine human being is.
For example, wouldn't "Believe in Yourself" have worked pretty well on this one? Instead they went with the one that makes me laugh in that "going straight to hell" sort of way. "Vision! Pass it on! Seriously, pass it to this guy. Clearly he could use some."