"When will it end?"

Photo by Bala Slvakuma   Ain’t it interesting how life works??? Just when you think you’ve got it by the tail, something new happens…

 

Last month I wrote in this column about forgiveness and reconciliation. This month is kind of Part Deux.

 

I think a lot about family businesses, and families…and businesses…As I was pondering several stories of families in business, I thought about the fights and fractures that happen all too often. The question came to mind,

 

What are you left with 

if you tear a piece of paper

in half over and over again?

 

Answer: scraps…or, maybe the better answer is: NOTHING.

 

If families don’t find a way to get along, they split. They divide. That pattern, I’ve observed, often repeats itself…over and over again…In families with businesses, it may be the business that splits. It may be the family. It may be both…

 

No wonder only 3% of family businesses make it to the

4th generation…

 

Sometimes, the “sins of the fathers” (and mothers…) are passed on generation after generation.

 

Like it or not, we all pass on

 an inheritance.

 

We work awfully hard to pass on what we want to pass on in terms of wealth. All sorts of time, energy, talent and money go in to legal documents, tax strategies and planning. I’m not saying that’s wrong, what I’m asking is:

 

What might happen if we devoted some of those resources

to passing an inheritance of

wisdom and healthy relationships?

 

When it comes to fighting and fracturing, who will be the generation to say, “This stops now!”? Until a generation (or a brave member of a generation) has the courage to stand up and make such a statement, why would we think that the definition of insanity won’t prove true? Keep doing things the same way expecting different results…

 

Let us have ambition enough

to keep our simplicity,

our frugality and our integrity,

and transmit these virtues

as the fairest of inheritance

to our children.

John Adams

Second US President

Writing to his wife, Abigail,

from Paris, after observing

the Parisian “high life.”

 

What is the inheritance

you will pass

to the next generation and beyond?

 

Spend some time with this…You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

 

 

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