A couple of months ago, I experienced the death of an older brother with whom I was very close. After his death, I spent time assisting his wife with the myriad of things that must be dealt with following the death of a spouse. He had a will which made settling his estate a bit easier. Even with that, there were things which we both wished he had done more thoroughly.
As I reflected on my brother’s life I reminisced about his many good qualities – though he had a few undesirable ones as well – and what a wise person he was. During conversations he would often blurt out some saying or words of wisdom which seemed appropriate to the conversation. A few weeks after his death I read an article titled: Two Kinds of Legacy. As I read it I wished my brother had done what this article suggested.
The article talked about a person leaving a will, called a legacy, to distribute assets. But, as the article points out, legacy has a deeper meaning. In addition to the will to distribute assets, it recommended people leave an ethical will which passes on wisdom and good wishes to future generations. This can be a letter or some other document that conveys the person’s values, convictions, advice and hopes for future generations. This written document reflects the person’s experience during the journey through life.
What would you put in your ethical will? Writing such a document can have an impact on your own life, causing you to examine your life and adjust your own priorities. It could change your prospective. Because this document is about ethics, it can become a moral compass that helps loved ones navigate their way to worthy and happy lives. Give it a try. Once you start writing down all your thoughts, it may be hard to stop.
Causes Lillian Lambert Supports
American Cancer Society, American Heart Assn, Howard Universit, Impact 100 of Richmond