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.
on July 22, 2010
Notes To My Daughter is a great book full of excellent advice. It's written for David's 13-year-old daughter, but women of any age could benefit from reading his book. I wish I'd had a book like this available to me when I was younger! I was very close to my Dad growing up, but it can be hard for some parents to talk about some of the subjects in the book. I took my copy to work and every woman in my department wanted to buy a copy, they all loved it. I haven't heard one negative comment about this book. I highly recommend it.
on October 28, 2013
Reading David Dixon's book Notes to my Daughter was bittersweet. I grew up without a dad. My dad abandoned me before I was born. Nevertheless, I am happy that there are dads that do take pride in providing for their children.
Dixon dedicates the book to his daughter Kenadi. It takes the reader into an insightful journey of what a genuine father-daughter relationship should look like. Every child deserves the best from his or her parents. Dixon's words of wisdom to his daughter makes this book a must-read for all dads. The author writes from his heart and offers good common sense advice to his daughter.
There are 15 chapters in the book. Chapters one and 14 are my two favorites. In chapter one, the author encourages his daughter to trust God. This in my opinion is sound, excellent advice. Dixon is a wise father, because he wants to encourage his daughter to understand putting God first will be the most important thing she can do, and doing so will benefit her greatly.
Chapter 14, titled "Learn to Forgive," starts with a quote that I absolutely love. By Paul Boese, it is very profound: "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
This speaks loudly to me. I believe when one continues to hold on to hatred by not forgiving those who have wronged you, you only prolong the hurt and keep the door shut for complete healing. Lucky for me, I learned early on to forgive those that have done me harm. I forgave my father a long time ago.
Instead of wallowing in the negative, I made a concerted effort to channel my energy into doing extremely well in school. In my opinion, lack of forgiveness is like a cancer; if allowed to fester, it will take you out of the game of life.
Notes to my Daughter is a book with life-changing messages for all daughters and dads. It is a helpful and encouraging guide for a young woman as she embarks on the journey of life.
on February 28, 2014
If you ignore the chapter headings, ‘Notes to by Daughter’ reads like a letter from father to daughter. Dixon speaks directly to Kenadi (pronounced “Kennedy”) at many points, and is as free with his terms of endearments, like “Baby” and “Sweetheart,” as any loving father would be.
This short, self-help book is full of universal truths and great advice that any young woman should take to heart. I could hear the voice of my Dad reading the lines with me, and it had me thinking back to all of those important father/daughter memories from when I was growing up. Love, Business, Life and Friendship, this book covers it all.
on November 16, 2013
This is an excellent must read book for all Fathers concerned about their daughters. The lessons David passes on to is daughter Kennadi are insightful, full of wisdom and love. I am getting this book for my daughter with hope she will catch on to the genuine concerns I have for her but could not put into words as elegantly as David Dixon has done in his book. I sincerely urge all Fathers and Daughters to do a joint read of this awesome book. Thank You David from the bottom of my heart for writing and sharing your book with all concerned and loving Fathers. May God richly bless you. Sincerely A. D.