Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Inheriting happiness…

If you don’t merit what you inherit, share it.

Back Story

The question may arise: “How does anyone really “merit what they inherit”?” After all, it is rare that anyone who inherits anything has fully earned such largesse. The “meriting” of bequeathed funds or objects is to be found in a person’s willingness to use those items to do good in the world at a material level consistent with what the bequeathal affords. If you work hard to be a good steward of the resources you receive, you “merit” your inheritance insofar as you: 1) you recognize that starting with something is usually better (and easier) than starting with nothing, and 2) you use the aforementioned realization as motivation to find meaningful ways of helping others who are less fortunate. Throughout the history of mankind, there have been many in positions of power and privilege who have subscribed to the notion that they are under no obligation to share their wealth with anyone. They rely on various rationales to support this perspective (actually, some probably don’t think about it much at all). If you feel some “guilt” at having been given far more than others for no other reason than that you were born to it, know that the answer to your discomfort is not to figure out how not to feel guilt at all, but to use that discomfort to spur you to use your advantaged position to make this world a better place.

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