Dear Millie…

Lately you’ve taken to saying “You don’t love me!” when you don’t get your own way.  I want to address that accusation.

First of all, your mother and I love you more than anything else in the world.  Trust me, you have no idea how much we love you.  I didn’t realise quite how much my parents loved me until I had you, and was then embarrassed at the ingratitude I’d displayed over the years.

Your mother and I both willingly gave up our comfortable, fun, financially stable and enjoyable lives when we decided to have you.  We haven’t once regretted that decision.  Not once.

So we do love you.

But I’m afraid our role is not as your servant or unthinking cheerleader, it’s a lot more complicated than that.  Our role is to prepare you to fend for yourself and to make your way in the world, ready for the future and a time when we won’t be here.  To this end we’re trying to teach you how to be three things:

  1. Clever
  2. Happy
  3. Good

Note that these three things don’t necessarily come as a package.

We want you to be clever because being smart will help to decide for yourself what is important and what you want from your life.  Ignorant people don’t even realise there’s more to their life than they can see.  Being clever won’t of itself make you happy, but it will give you a better map for finding happiness.

As for being good…well, no-one plans to be evil.  Despite what you may see in Hollywood films or read in the Daily Mail, no one deliberately chooses to be hated and feared.  We humans are social creatures; it’s important to us that we’re loved, and the best way to become loved is, as the wise old heads at Google realised, don’t be evil.

Be nice to people – even the ignorant ones, and especially the sad and the lonely ones, the ones who might need your help.

Because who knows, maybe one day you’ll need help from them.


Your Dad




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