, , , , , , , ,

This whole “inheritance” thing has been on my mind for the last few weeks.  So much so, that my writing has slowed down considerably as I make waves offline to build a legacy and ensure something is left for my son (and hopefully, his children).

What has occurred to me about inheritance though, is that you don’t just receive it.  There are stipulations with every inheritance.  Sometimes these stipulations are made clear, sometimes we’re bumped from a will and reinstated all being none the wiser. You see, when it comes to an inheritance “seeing is receiving.”

Yes, it is true that more often than not those who are leaving something behind for someone tend to check them out and determine if the recipient ifs worthy of whatever gifts are earmarked for them upon the giver’s passing.  But this is only part of it.

All too often, we overlook a very real part of the inheritance process.  It is not only a material inheritance that we receive when people leave us, but a spiritual inheritance.  There are immaterial things that are transferred to us when people pass away to dust.  Unfortunately, not enough us are looking in the right places.  You see, unlike material inheritances a spiritual inheritance will most likely NOT come from your family.

We live in a world where 3% of the population owns 97% of its resources.  There is a clear distinction between the haves and the have-nots.  In America, studies have shown that there is a 90% chance you will live and die in the same tax bracket as your parents (or primary caregivers). This means that if you were born wealthy, you will most likely die wealthy.  And if you were born into poverty, you will likely die the same way.

But we know that people break out of their tax brackets all the time.  We’ve all heard of incidents where some wealthy socialite has taken their life after “losing everything.” We have also heard the highly acclaimed rags-to-riches stories of people like Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, and Tyler Perry who were born with next to nothing and worked their way up to fame and wealth.

But what exactly is happening? In both instances, from riches-to-rags and rags-to-riches, these people more than likely looked outside their immediate network to acquire a certain set of spiritual values and principles that will inform their practices.  These spiritual values and principles reflect what they will then ascertain in the physical.

In the case of riches-to-rags, the individuals who believes s/he has “lost everything” once the money is gone, has no understanding of how s/he got to (and stayed) where s/he was for so long.  On some branch of the family tree, maybe as far back as a root, someone made the necessary sacrifices to lay a foundation that would sustain the line from generation to generation.  They endured the back-break work, made the (sometimes shady) connections, and made sure to save as much as they made. By the end of the legacy builder’s life, he had likely learned how to make his money work for him, just as hard if not harder than he’d work for it all those years ago.

Unfortunately, this spiritual value of hard work, diligence and legacy is often diluted over the years.  The older the money is the more diluted it is likely to be.  The new branches of the tree have no idea how to sow those same seeds and replicate such wealth and success when called upon to do so. The descendents often take their status for granted without any real understanding of how to maintain what they have been given.  In essence, their focus is not on the value of the things they possess – meaning how money, materials and things can bless the lives of others; or how it can be stored up for future generations to teach them about the promises upon which their lives were built or the expectations and responsibility that come with such promise.  Instead, these folks praise the possessions.  So when it’s gone they presume “everything is lost.”

But you know who can tell you about the worth of spiritual values and principles; people who go from rags-to-riches.  They know just how important immaterial possessions are.  They know strength of character is more critical than any dollar bill.  When you have no money left, people will still credit you based on your word.  People may not have any money to give you, but they remember those who helped them in their time of need – suddenly even those who complained about lacking enough have room for one more at their table, have clothes they no longer need or wares they no longer use. They place the value of others above themselves.  They want the benefits that come with money, but not for themselves.  These are the ones who set out to build legacies for their children and their children’s children.

Seeing is receiving.  What you see will influence what you seek in your inheritance.  Will you learn the values (those immaterial possessions) needed to sustain whatever you acquire in the physical?  Where will you focus?  Will you look at what others consider important and appraise your material things as more precious and worthy than what is inside?

I recall the story of Elijah and Elisha in the Bible.  Elijah asked Elisha, “What do you want from me before I leave you.” Elisha response was that he wanted a double portion of Elijah’s blessing.  In other words, he wanted what was already entitled to him, but he wanted ALL of whatever his master had possessed when he lived.  Elijah told him, “If you see me when I am taken up to heaven, it is yours.  If you don’t then it will not be granted to you.”

You see, Elisha had to be focused on his master or he would miss his opportunity.  My question to each of you is: where is your focus?

I hope this week, you will set your sights on the one who will teach you what you need to know to inherit a double portion. Good luck and Namaste.