Life Advice



Ask Amy: Online celebrations bring on real-life challenges

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

After receiving a “change-the-date” announcement explaining why we were no longer invited to the wedding, I sent the couple a generous gift.

She is now going to have a reception later in the year.

If invited, should I bring another gift?

— Re-Invited

Dear Re-Invited: The pandemic has created so many personal, social, and relationship challenges, and has now brought on a new phenomenon: The “change-the-date” notice.

I’m sure this has been hard on the couple, as well as their guests. I hope they express appreciation for your flexibility, as well as a genuine and personal “thank you” for the wedding gift.

It is not necessary for you to give the couple another wedding gift when their reception rolls around.

Dear Amy: In a world full of human suffering, I have two female friends (both religious) and a husband (all over 70), who seem to be incapable of showing compassion toward the plight of immigrants, the homeless, or the overwhelming stress felt by our health-care workers (for example). These people are all financially secure.


Is compassion a choice or are there people whose brain is wired such that it renders them incapable of feeling or displaying compassion?

I try not to be judgmental and I do not engage conversation when remarks are made. I just want to understand them.

— Irene

Dear Irene: I believe that compassion is a choice. It can be learned, but it helps to understand that it can be frightening to open your heart to others, because to understand suffering is to get in touch with your own vulnerability.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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