My husband and I were talking about the legacies that you leave behind… you know, when you (or in the case of our disucssion, your grandparents) pass on life’s accumulation of worldly possessions to children and grandchildren. Are they (the 2nd and 3rd generation) better off?
Perhaps, in some ways, they are, but in more instrinsic ways, maybe not the same way it was 50 or 75 years ago. Is anyone being given huge sums of money that will help them start a company or take the family business to the next level? Or, is it impossible to make a simple statement that applies “one-size-fits-all” because everyone and every family is so different?
As the world around us keeps changing and improving, people live longer – which means that it costs more to live past 70, 80 and into their 90s – it just doesn’t leave much in the way of material things for the next generation.
The argument can certainly be made that the legacies have already been given… not so much as a one-time shot when the elder passes on, but everything that they give and have given throughout thier long life. We don’t need their arm chair (you know, the one that needs to be re-upholstered.) What we have is something far better. We have their sense of humor, their affinity for helping family, a habit of watching golf and their love of the color yellow. We may even have a house because of their support of deposit funds, or a business that they helped us start… isn’t that so much better? These are the things, the ideas, the philosophies that will be passed on from us to our children, perhaps, someday, hopefully…
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl