Author: David A. Dixon
Author: David A. Dixon
David A. Dixon informs us in his Notes to my Daughter: Living Life and avoiding Pitfalls that he commenced writing his book in April 1997, a month after his daughter Kenadi (which is pronounced Kennedy) was born. He further states that he felt his daughter was so precious that he had to create something to help her avoid many of the pitfalls in life.
The culmination is a ninety-six page tome comprising fifteen compact lessons covering some of life's “biggies” including trust in God, friendship, networking, relationships with yourself, realizing that not everything that is good for you is actually good for you, you should not love off anyone else's love, never stop growing as a person, enjoying life, financial responsibility, helping others and lending money, learn the meaning of the word “no,” anger, avoiding self-destructive behavior, learn to forgive and don't doubt yourself. Hopefully, as Dixon muses, they will sink in and work.
At first glance the book may seem too simplistic, yet herein lies its strength, and perhaps Dixon followed Henry David Thoreau's advice when he penned: “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” And that is precisely what Dixon accomplished with his reader-friendly style that is easy to grasp as he tenders pragmatic and hard-nosed advice that most young children as well as adults can readily comprehend. In addition, the format of the book has been crafted in such a way that it is not only informative but also motivational wherein readers will in all likelihood take Dixon's messages seriously to heart as they certainly are far from being foolish and thus leaving his readers with little dissent.
Setting the theme of every chapter is a quote contributed by Dixon or some known or unknown individual. For example, Lesson 3, The Power of Networking begins with the expression that “people make the world go round.” Dixon further elaborates in the pursuing chapter that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, and it is up to you to distinguish why they are there. Another example is Lesson 7, Never Stop Growing as a Person where Dixon begins by quoting Socrates who asserted: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” In the lesson that follows Dixon correctly perceives that there are three types of people in this world: 1) those who want to change and do; 2) those who don't want to change and never will; and 3) those who want you to think they have changed and have not. One of my favorite lessons is the eighth one which begins with a quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” And as Dixon reminds us, “As we get older, it's not the things we did that we regret, it's the things we didn't do that we regret even more. Live your life so you have few regrets.” In other words, don't be the person who looks back and says I could have, would have, should have, but I didn't do anything.
No doubt, giving advice to your children is never an easy task and most children will invariably reply, “I know,” which brings to mind the song made popular by the French actor Jean Gabin entitled “ Maintenant Je Sais” (Now I know). The last stanza just about sums it all up when Gabin sings in French “ Life, love, money, friends and roses:You never know the noise nor the color of things: That's all I know! But I KNOW that...” All we can hope and pray for is that our children grow up to be respected abiding citizens and perhaps hopefully accept some of the same advice Dixon has offered to his daughter.