When we talk about inheritance problems, we are usually addressing money, aren’t we?
But the inheritance we give our kids is so much more broad than that.
We might pass on all or part of our:
- Money habits
- Eating habits
- Outlook on life
- Our kindness or greed
- Work ethic
- Our passions and hobbies
- Our faith and other beliefs
This should give us pause around our children.
What are they picking up? What will they use later? And what will they put down and replace with something of their own?
For how much do we pass on that we do not even realize?
I, for one, hope my children inherit my Christian faith, my love of books and learning and quirky art, the pleasure I take in time at the gym, a love of travel, and music, and writing – and sure – my money.
When I think of problems with inheritance I don’t limit it to the rich or the wealthy, nor do I associate it with money alone. The problem is the sense of entitlement that puts you at the center of the world—either as a Falstaffian bon vivant or a brilliant but conscience-wracked do-gooder. It can rob you of motivation whatever the sum involved.
-Paul Sullivan, The Thin Green Line