Dear Ivy: Connect

My Dear Ivy,

This one is a hard one to write. It won’t be the first time I try to share with you the importance of something I’m not very good at, myself. But it may be the most difficult.

It is this: In order to put into practice what we’ve talked about in the previous couple of letters, it is important for you to seek connection.

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Dear Ivy: Empathize

My Dear Ivy,

How does it work, this thing we talked about yesterday: Holding onto your self with security and serenity, knowing who you are and why you are valuable, while caring deeply and giving generously to the people you love?

There’s a word for this: Empathy.

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Dear Ivy: Love

My Dear Ivy,

There’s something I hope you know by now. Something I’ve probably told you multiple times a day, every day of your life. Something that, if you don’t know it, means I have monumentally failed as your father.

It is this: I love you.

I hope you know that. I hope you always know it. Today I want to talk a bit more about what it means.

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Dear Ivy: People

My Dear Ivy,

I wrote yesterday of hoping that you grow up to be a woman who is comfortable making big decisions for yourself. The thing is: There are lots of possible criteria you can use to make those decisions, and some of them are better than others. Throughout these letters, you’ll see several examples of my own criteria for making decisions. My goal, though, is not to impose my criteria on you, but to share them with you in the hopes that they will be useful to you as you cultivate your own.

Today I want to share about one of the most important of those decision-making criteria: People.

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Dear Ivy: Decide

My Dear Ivy,

Following up on yesterday’s letter, I wanted to focus this one on something I wish I’d learned a lot earlier in life, and was a lot better at putting into daily use than I actually am. I wrote yesterday about the “Fear of More Options” and reconciling yourself with regrets. What that means in practice is: sometimes, you have to just decide.

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Dear Ivy: Regrets

For his first Christmas, I decided to write an open letter to my firstborn, Tristan, each day starting with the first of December and culminating on Christmas Day. When my daughter Fiona came along, I decided to make it a tradition to write a series of such letters for each of my children. If you wish, you can read my letters to Tristan here, and Fiona’s here.

For Ivy’s first Christmas, I was too emotionally spent and mentally exhausted at the end of last year to capture the thoughts that would do her justice. As hard as 2020 has been, I’m in a better place this December, so I’m doing it now. As with Tristan’s and Fiona’s letters, my goal is to share what’s on my heart for my daughter. The rest of you are welcome to read along too, if you like.

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Two Cheers for the Electoral College

It’s over. Again. Probably for good this time. On Friday, Georgia certified its official election results with Joe Biden winning the state. Today, Michigan followed suit. And after a Trump-appointed judge in Pennsylvania threw out Trump’s lawsuit over the weekend, Pennsylvania counties today started the process of doing the same.

Nevada certifies tomorrow. Arizona’s counties have all certified their results, with statewide certification set for November 30. Wisconsin will do so on December 1. But Biden doesn’t need them to win.

And now that we’ve reached this point, I want to offer up a measured, but enthusiastic two cheers for the often-maligned electoral college.

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We’ll Never Have Paris: Thoughts on the Planned U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accord

I’ve gotten involved with several friends across multiple Facebook pages in discussions over President Trump’s recent decision to exit the Paris Climate Change Agreement. One of my friends asked me point blank how I could support President Trump’s decision, given that the President likely made it to fulfill a campaign promise rather than out of any particularly strong feelings one way or the other about the environment or the agreement itself. I promised him a separate response on the matter. That comment got too long for a comment and turned into its own Facebook post . . . which eventually got too long for a Facebook post and turned into . . . well . . this.

Read on, if you care to . . .

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Movie Review: 13 Hours [SPOILERS]

So last night, my wife and I made it out to see the movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I’ve been asked by numerous people for a review of the film, so here it is. If you’ve read anything in the news about Benghazi, you know how it ends, It’s impossible to tell this story without a few minor spoilers, so while I’ve tried to keep the. to a minimum, if your intent is to go into this movie with an absolutely clean slate, this is one review you might want to skip. You have been warned.

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Fiona’s Letters

  1. Dear Fiona: I Love You
  2. Dear Fiona: Watch This!
  3. Dear Fiona: Cultivate Empathy
  4. Dear Fiona: Let’s Talk
  5. Dear Fiona: Love Learning
  6. Dear Fiona: Love the Unlearned
  7. Dear Fiona: Love People
  8. Dear Fiona: Love Yourself
  9. Dear Fiona: On Being a Sister
  10. Dear Fiona: On Being My Daughter
  11. Dear Fiona: I’m Sorry
  12. Dear Fiona: Times and Places
  13. Dear Fiona: No Shame
  14. Dear Fiona: Do . . . just do
  15. Dear Fiona: Baffle Expectations
  16. Dear Fiona: I Hear You
  17. Dear Fiona: Be Yourself
  18. Dear Fiona: Know Yourself
  19. Dear Fiona: Share Yourself
  20. Dear Fiona: Hold Yourself
  21. Dear Fiona: Let Go
  22. Dear Fiona: Be Imperfect
  23. Dear Fiona: Be Complete
  24. Dear Fiona: Be Completed
  25. Dear Fiona: The Hope Within

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