Thursday, October 18, 2012

To Each His Own

Now, I'm beginning to see why each generation is concerned about "their own thing" be it the hope of financing for old age, or instant gratification! I've been pretty vocal about the older generation that not only seems unconcerned about leaving an inheritance, but for the most part seems pretty unconcerned about the debt they don't mind leaving to their grandchildren. I've not been shy about expressing my opinion of all the senior discounts and benefits, while young families struggle, but as of late, I realize a number of people are struggling because of their own sad priorities and disrespect.
I've had a few discussions as of late with folks of generations following my own, and to be honest, I'm not interested in investing in their interests or their explanation of their values in life. I've seen a great deal of disrespect displayed, taught, and even rewarded, and that may have to sustain them. I thought, as a boomer, I sort of owed it to the next generation to not leave things as messy as my generation received and is blamed for causing, but I've had some new thoughts.
I know, as a descendant of previous generations, I don't have the same values that the previous ones do. So why should I expect them to give to me what's important to them, when I've already demonstrated, it's not important to me? I have no reason in the world to expect to inherit acquired and amassed financial wealth when it wasn't important enough to me to be trying to amass and acquire material wealth. I have a different values system than the American dream of the previous generations and it would be selfish and disrespectful of me to consider what they value to be owed to me. I don't have the same appreciation and I don't expect it to be handed to me to disregard what they deem important.
The previous generations should go right ahead and spend according to their values just like the rest of us are doing. They have every right to choose how they'd like to be remembered . . . I've heard the descending generations excuse their own instant gratification, selfishness by saying another generation is using it all up. Even if that's the case, isn't instant gratification on credit cards, or the choice to never actually own or pay off anything, really the same thing anyway? At least we have to face the fact that blaming someone else for our choices is truly an attempt to absolve ourselves of any responsibility. The voice of every generation seems to be saying the same thing. I want what I want and I feel entitled to feel that way. It seems every generation wants to do their own thing their own way, and I see that more clearly now.
Before the industrial revolution all the way back through recorded history, people died with dignity, not frantically clinging to life with tubes and hoses in every orifice and the next generation inherited the family business or farm. It wasn't about money and trying to live forever, but that has changed . . . completely, and the value of life has been reduced to material wealth and an attempt to spend every penny on one's own pleasures, while judging others who are doing the same.
I truly wanted to leave a legacy to my descendants, but it would seem most of my descendants aren't interested in what I want to give them. This new revelation changes my perspective on investing for the future, and yet in another way, it changes nothing at all. I now see the value, if I'm investing in the future, to make certain I have the proper paperwork reflecting the investments I'm choosing. Investing in the future means I'm not investing in money or my net worth, I'm investing in people, people of the next generation.
When it's all said and done, our material wealth is only of value in a material world, so each person must spend it according to their own values because they are not taking it with them. In light of that fact, if we don't spend it all according to our values before we die, or if we truly are investing in the next generation, I believe we must recognize the individual members of that next generation in which we are investing. If I'm going to call it a legacy and an investment, then I am responsible for leaving what I'm not taking with me, to someone who shares my values.
And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but G-d shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren . . . Torah of Holy Scripture
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