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Mon, 30 Mar 2020

Northeast Today

THE GORDIAN KNOT OF INHERITANCE

THE GORDIAN KNOT OF INHERITANCE
February 22
16:41 2020

Rifa Deka

‘A guy driving his own Maruti 800 is more successful than a man driving his father’s Mercedes…’ said a meme that was shared with me this week by a close friend of mine. The conversation that followed this meme, was one worth writing about.

Was this how low we were willing to stoop just to make ourselves feel better about the fact that it’s okay that we’re not doing well and that it’s okay to be average on our own than inherit a fortune from our parents? Why not try driving our own Mercedes someday and leave those born with silver spoons alone? Would some so-called “Self-made” people not leave behind a fortune for their future generations, given a chance?

Bill Gates, the American business magnate, best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation once said, “A first generation fortune is most likely to be given away, but once a fortune is inherited, it’s less likely that a very high percentage will go back to the society”. Keeping this in mind, it is extremely essential that our younger generations are raised with a sense of responsibility whether or not they come from privileged families.

There is nothing wrong with inheriting a big house, a fancy car, or lots of money as long as we are taught how to manage that wealth in the right way and put that wealth to good use. Those privileged must also do something productive with the money they have, generating employment for the masses, investing their money in ventures that would not just give them returns on their investments but also help boost the economy of our country.

These days, it has become a trend to demean those born into wealthy families and those who have in fact inherited any fortune at all. It is not acknowledged here that this person’s family must also have slogged and burned the midnight oil for this person to inherit all that wealth. With terms like ‘Nepotism’, ‘Patronage’ and phrases like ‘keeping it in the family’, being used in common parlance now, we have stopped empathizing with one another. We seldom realize that it is not anybody’s fault that they were born to parents who happen to be financially well off.

Each one of us secretly wishes that our parents had passed on some wealth to us, so it’d be easier for us to pursue what we loved in life, perhaps own a cool café downtown, travel the world without worrying about leaves and paychecks, build a ginormous house, or maybe just work on that start-up that’s always been a dream! Don’t we?

Picture Credit: Facebook page of Bill Gates

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