I recently received an inheritance from a relative after her passing. Experiencing this made me reflect on countless inheritances I have received throughout my life. By way of these reflections, I have come to realize that much of what is meaningful in my life is the result of what I have inherited from others.

  • Thanks to my Italian grandmother, I love to cook.
  • Thanks to my older cousins who played with me, I love basketball.
  • Thanks to a favorite teacher, I am curious and love to learn.

What others leave us by their example and their way of living is certainly not something on which we can put a price. What others leave us, and by implication what we leave others, may often be of seemingly infinite value.

My father, who served for four years in the Pacific during World War II, spent many days living in foxholes. During that time, he would write letters to my mother.

Years later dad gave me the dog tags that he wore during these difficult and challenging times.

I now wear his dog tags. Although I have never experienced the extended and severe difficulties my father and his generation did during that time in their lives, the dog tags remind me of the incredible example of commitment and service I inherited from him. Whenever I experience my own challenges or things I don’t like, I can deal with them without complaining or blaming others. For example, I don’t like shoveling snow. However, when we get a few inches of snow I can hear the dog tags whispering to me, “Hey kid, put on your boots and gloves and walk out of your warm house and deal with it. And don’t forget to shovel the neighbor’s sidewalk as well.”

Reflection:    What have I inherited that has enriched or made my life more                                        meaningful?

Remember last week’s Wellness Wednesday about being silly? If you haven’t had a chuckle yet this week, thank Linda for sending us the following picture.

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…who from their countless examples of friendship and commitment have provided a beautiful inheritance to me.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training