What Is A Values Legacy?
What is a Values Legacy? What does it mean to leave a Legacy of Family Values?
Let’s start by exploring some of the various definitions of each of those words.
1. Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.
2. A person or people related to one another and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy.
3. A group of related people sharing common ancestry or related to one another by blood or marriage, including people who lived in the past.
1. A person’s principles or standards of behavior
2. One’s judgment of what is important in life.
3. The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something; relative worth, merit, or importance.
4. Aligned with belief and belief systems.
1. Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
2. Something such as a tradition that exists as a result of something that happened in the past
Based upon the above definitions what can we deduce about a “Values Legacy?”
I would define a “Values Legacy” as “a decision to focus on the preservation and transference of values, family traditions, rituals, wisdom, life lessons, history, memories, and other intangibles and emotional assets for future generations.”
You’ve probably heard the term “Values can’t be taught, they must be caught.” I think what that means is that throughout their lives people don’t develop their values and character by being told how to think or act; they develop their values through their own desire to be like someone they value and respect. As a parent or grandparent, you are certainly in one of the best positions to be that person. You are in a prime position to make a positive impact and begin passing on wisdom from generation to generation and to start providing a sense of identity and a family narrative for the lives that follow.
It’s this passing on of wisdom, values, and emotional assets that is the true difference between a legacy and an inheritance. A true Legacy is about the transference of values, not valuables; whereas, an inheritance is almost purely financial.
You might be asking, “How will my family benefit?” There are a variety of ways that you and your family might benefit from such an endeavor.
By deciding to pass-on your own Legacy of Values, you’ll be passing on experience; you’ll be passing along your best intentions which will become your lasting memory; you’ll create a family narrative and identity; you’ll have an opportunity to try and set things right and make amends; you’ll help future heirs and descendants to avoid a sense of entitlement; and you’ll have an opportunity to do something special to make a lasting difference for your family – amongst other things.
“A Good Man Leaves An Inheritance Of Moral Stability And Goodness To His Children’s Children… – Proverbs 13:22 (Amplified)
Start by asking yourself some of the following questions and you may begin to get a better sense of what you may choose to impart to future generations.– What experiences made you who you are today?
– What’s your story?
– What do you remember about growing up and some of the different stages / phases in your life?
– What are some of your favorite memories?
– What were some of the lessons learned?
– What values do you hold near and dear?
– What are your passions / hobbies?
– What role, if any, did faith play in your life?
– What causes are important to you?
– What charities and philanthropic organizations do you have an affinity for?
– What enlightens you about what you see in the world today and how it’s different from your growing up?
– What saddens you about what you see in the world today and how it’s different from your growing up?
– What message(s) do you have for your heirs and future generations?
– Would you like any of these messages to be delivered after your time on this earth?
– Do you have any desire to establish a variety of experiences or lessons (similar to the Ultimate Gift) for your heirs that would provide for valuable life lessons?
If you’d like an even better understanding of what it means to leave a legacy of values vs. an inheritance watch the movie “The Ultimate Gift.” I think after watching this movie, you’ll have a great understanding!
The Ultimate Gift
by Mark T. Davis