An Open Letter to My Daughter

Dear McKenzie,

The new year has come, and yet it is just now for the first time in this new year, this new decade, that I am making the time to fulfill my promise to you. So many things have been passing in and out of my mind since my last letter, and it is hard to nail them down at their particular moments and offer them up as pearls of wisdom for you.

Most recently, I have just finished the book, The Science of Fear, which helped keep my cynicism, worries and fears in perspective. When all looks wrong with the world, I am reminded by the fact that despite the challenges we now face that we are better off than in the past, that we have and will continue to progress. This is saying much about your father who could easily become a grumpy, old and bitter man, who recounts a glorious golden past age.

McKenzie, please don’t let me become that guy. Remind me that the past was filled with disease, starvation, menial labor and violence. But, most of all, remember and learn from those past mistakes and improve upon those past achievements.

Another thing that has been weighing heavy on my mind is feedback. Somewhere down the line, my feedback loop became broken, leaving me detached from those who were once important to me earlier in my life. Occasionally, there are twinges of regret and lame attempts to reconnect; however, they seem to lead nowhere.

I send out signal out into the darkness beyond my immediate source of light – you and your mother – and hear nothing back. Eventually I just turn off the signal all together. I don’t want that to happen to us. More importantly, I don’t want you to follow in my footsteps as hone it as the sharpest weapon in your defense mechanism arsenal.

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