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A Father’s Letter to His Daughter: Brittne Walker

Brian Walker (left) with his daughter and Mills graduating senior, Brittne. (Photo courtesy of Brian Walker)
Brian Walker (left) with his daughter and Mills graduating senior, Brittne. (Photo courtesy of Brian Walker)

Dear Brittne,

The past four years, in fact the past twenty-two years, have gone by in the blink of an eye, although not uneventfully. You’ve gone from my newborn baby girl and joy of my life, to the joy of my life who is the independent, intelligent, strong and beautiful young woman I know today.

Your birth forever changed my life, an experience I’ll always hold dear in my heart. You are among the most important people who influenced my life, which has greatly affected who I am today. Just being my daughter, you helped me discover and reach my own potential. As a father I’ve strived to be a good example, a positive influence and someone worth emulating.

I remember seeing you, holding you, hearing you laugh and cry, crawl, etc. for the first time. As a proud father, I have been able to witness each major milestone. We have experienced many firsts together, one of the many were the Daddy Daughter dances.

We are going to experience another first for us. It will be the first time I have not attended a major milestone in your life, your graduation from Mills College. Although I hope you know how important you are too me, it’s extremely important for you to hear it. I am impressed and proud of your accomplishments both in school and in life. I am also humbled by the passion and drive you’ve showed reaching your achievements.  I love you and love the fact you’re my daughter!

As you start a new journey, some “fatherly advice” is in order. One piece of the advice may seem contradictory to another. However, they can both be accomplished at the same time.

1. Every day, let those you care about know how you feel.

2. Keep thinking for yourself.
Think and form opinions for yourself or others will think and form opinions for you. Remember you have a perspective and it’s important.

3. Listen to the experience of others.
Hear the perspectives of others. Use the ratio 2:1 (2 ears, 1 mouth)

4. Respect the opinion of others.
Everyone wants to be heard (see 2:1 ratio).

5. Embrace Change.
Difficult skill to master, be a change leader.

6. Respect the current approach.
Microsoft Vista, New Coke… Understand the “why” behind what is working and not working.

7. Work hard & be lucky.
Winning the lottery is luck, being in the right place at the right time (lucky) takes hard work.

8. You have permission to fail (and learn).
Oprah Winfrey, Vera Wang, J.K. Rowling, Arianna Huffington, etc…

9. Program your GPS.
Have a plan — work the plan, always remember “to hope” is not a plan.

10. Take chances.
Some of the greatest discoveries came by “accident.”

11. Never spend more than you earn.
Pay yourself first!

12. Have gratitude & empathy for others.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” — Maya Angelou.

I’ll Love You Always,


For more graduation-related posts, check out The Campanil‘s designated 2014 Commencement webpage here or click on the “Commencement” link in the upper right hand corner of the header.