For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
What is the purpose of working hard, saving and investing your money, if you will end up leaving it to those who will squander it away carelessly? You must strive each day to become more financially literate and capable of being a wise and loyal steward so that you can educate and empower those who stand to inherit from your hard work and labor. Our financial dignity weighs heavily on the decisions we make, the advice we take, and our commitment to rebuking low-living and reckless thoughts and lifestyles.
We must educate ourselves and then educate others. Our legacy must be more than our names and photographs. Is what you are doing today providing a road map and healthy portfolio for your heirs 20,40, 80, or 100 years from now? If not, then make the time to reconfigure your life and your vision for your legacy. If you fail to do so, it may be short-lived or re-written by the foolish decisions made by your unprepared heirs.
Think of the countless people who inherited money, property, and jewelry, just to squander, lose, fight over it, or give it away. In that case, the inheritance should have been donated to a reputable charity, where it would have been appropriately administered to serve the least of God’s children. It irritates my soul to see an inheritance disrespected, it only proves that the recipients didn’t honor, value, love, and appreciate the person who left behind this gift. It was stewarded and well thought out, yet you abuse it. Do you really deserve it?
Warren Buffett might not be the warm and cuddly dad and grandfather, but he understands his limitations and he understands that if he left his wealth to the generations that followed, leaving them to be trust fund babies, it would most likely be squandered within two generations of his passing. Instead, Buffett has willed his fortune to charity. He told his children and grandchildren that he covered all of their education, through college, and after college they would have to spread their wings, leave the nest, and soar like eagles. He saw the recklessness of raising trust fund babies. He refuses to adopt that legacy. They didn’t grow up broke like him and if they put in the work they wouldn’t end up broke, even after he passes.
As he looks at it, if his offspring didn’t know how to leverage their name and relationships, and use that expensive private school education (with countless connections) to serve for their benefit, then they would leave behind the eagle legacy and flap around like chickens. They didn’t work for it, he did. He paid for their lifestyle, upbringing, and education. He equipped them with as much as possible and now, as adults, they would have to work to build their own legacies. If they didn’t take advantage of their time with him, didn’t shadow him and ask questions, didn’t follow his lead and mirror the ways that they admired, didn’t form relationships with his circles of influence, then they would be left to chart their own path using only what they acquired the 21 to 25 years that they have walked this planet. They could be producers and givers, but he refused to raise leaches and takers.
We have choices. We can build a strong legacy that is responsible and charged with passing the torch to ensure longevity for generations to come. We can build and donate our possessions for others to steward. Or we can squander everything and leave nothing behind. Our actions each day lay the foundation for the legacy we leave behind. Embrace today and don’t dismiss it because it’s the weekend, instead work passionately as though it’s the start of the week. Finish strong. Model the behavior you want carried on.
For those of you planning to start a family, you can add to this prayer the following:
Father prepare me each day to better myself in every way, and when I bear a child, prepare me to nurture and educate them so that they too learn to work hard; and that their inheritance from me is well-earned, well-received and well-invested.
And everyone can recite:
Father, let my hands and mind work diligently to build that which You have envisioned for me, and let it not be in vain that when my day comes to retire this human form, that the fruits of my labor are left behind for heirs who have not earned it.
Let my other family members also be prepared over these long, beautiful days, to be receptive and well-equipped to take on the weight of their inheritance, left by me, in trust, that they too will be good investors and not careless fools.
Father, I thank You now for what You will bless me with in the future. I know You will equip me and prepare me to handle whatever comes my way. I know that You will provide me with the tools to be the best steward that I can be. Thank You Father. I love You. Amen.
Love you all,
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