What gets passed down in a family is an important theme in Eden. What do we inherit? Money, possessions? Possibly, but usually not without angst. Behaviors and opinions are also passed down, for better or worse. The obvious things like physical traits are easy for the outside world to see. What is not apparent are our feelings about ourselves, what we like about ourselves and dislike about ourselves. We inherit recipes and histories, oral and written. We inherit a way of doing things, a set of expectations, approval and disapproval. We inherit love, we inherit disappointment. The estate planning and the last will and testament is the least of it!
As we mature and find ourselves wedged in the middle between aging parents and children coming into adulthood, it is a logical time to think about some of these things. As our closets and basements and attics become depositories for family heirlooms, it is a time to think about how the intangible heirlooms will also get divided up.
Is inheritance a privilege or a responsibility? Is the younger generation beholden to its elders? Some will walk away from everything, while others will accept their inheritance with gratitude and refashion what they receive to work in their lives.