Thursday, January 28, 2021

Essays for my children: A plea for peace

The decades of fermenting suspicion, isolation, mistrust, and division - by media and political organizations alike - have boiled over, manifesting these rifts into physical violence on the streets of our communities and in the halls of our uniquely American institutions.   


At this pivotal juncture in our Union’s history, when it would be easy to drown ourselves in the confluence of political extremism, social outrage, and cancel culturalism, we must afford our futures a moment of contemplation. We must realize the severity in the America we have become.  We must choose whether we, as individual citizens of this Grand Republic, truly desire our Constitutional miracle to fall into oblivion, or instead rise to the potential forged by the generations who have strived  to deliver us this Promised Land.


We can no longer allow ourselves to look into the faces of our compatriots and see only enemies undeserving of our respect or dignity. We must channel our passion to act into an aspiration to listen, while sharing the vigilance in the common defense of the rights and freedoms that so many peoples were once denied. We must see each other for the ties that bind us in fellowship, and in the shared visions for prosperityWe must once more rekindle the patriotic love for a Country that still represents the last best hope for all humanity.


I have journeyed in many political circles and in each have enjoyed the company of outstanding personalities whose contributions to America’s greatness were simple, yet immeasurably affirming.  In bearing witness to their efforts it is my hope that though our political views may vary sharply, we will not continue to wield our resentment as a bludgeon.  Rather, I hope we can withdraw from behind our partisan barriers and converse with one another again, speaking the words gifted to us from a common heritage of historic optimism.


250 years ago, with a muddle of problems and an intercedence of providence, the people of the United States strove to transform this Country from a collection of ARE to a Nation of IS.  Now once more, demonstrating our resolve and our faith that we can conquer any challenge together, we can fulfill the promise of Liberty’s grace first realized on that July summer’s day.

Wil Levins

January 2021

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Daddy-Daughter Moment: Dr. Seuss


I enjoyed narrating Dr. Seuss' book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish with you for "Refinery Reads". You did an amazing job and I hope we get to narrate more children's books in the future. You are an intelligent, talented, caring, and beautiful young woman. 

Click image for video

Love always,


Monday, January 18, 2021

Dad Advice: Religion


Maddie and Gracie,

When I ponder religion and the meaning of The Almighty, I often think of the episode of Futurama in which Bender meets God.      


I bet a lot of people pray to you, huh?


Yes, but there are so many asking so much. After a while you just sorta tune it out.


Y'know, I was God once.


Yes, I saw. You were doing well until everyone died.


It was awful. I tried helping them. I tried not helping them but in the end, I couldn't do them any good. Do you think what I did was wrong?


Right and wrong are just words. What matters is what you do.


Yeah I know, that's why I asked if what I did - forget it.


Bender, being God isn't easy, if you do too much, people get dependent. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket.


Or a guy who burns down the bar for the insurance money.


Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing. 

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Dad Advice: Enjoy the Journey

Maddie & Gracie,

As we discussed recently, do not be pressured into knowing exactly what you will do in the next few years, what college you want to attend, which profession you will aspire to, or how you want your life to exactly unfurl. Enjoy being a young person. Life moves so fast and we spend so much of our time worrying about the future that we do not take the time to enjoy where we are now and what is truly meaningful.


So what do I think is truly meaningful?  People and the experiences enjoyed with people is what I think is truly meaningful. Friends, relatives, acquaintances - people whom you love, people that you want to build a friendship with, people who introduce you to new things and interesting experiences. Spend time building memories with people that help bring joy into your life, grant you perspective, help you grow personally, and teach you things about the world that you didn't know. Living in the present while looking periodically to the future allows you to take a step back every once in a while, when times are really very good, and mark the moment in your memory as a blessed time in your life.


Goals are important to have but, realize they are destinations to future places and being present in the “now” allows you to savor the journey. For now, your goals should be simple and somewhat vague – go to a college one day, find something that interests you with which you can support yourself, and have a lifestyle you enjoy. Kind of basic but, other than that, focus on making new friends, trying different hobbies, joining local interest groups, or participating in various sporting activities. Explore the world around you and enjoy these days as a young person because they only come around once in our life times.


Love you both always,