Erin jogun ola and the value of a legacy – Part 2
Also, there is the fallacy that only people of money have ideas worth listening to. Motivational speakers, a genre that seems to be going to extinction now, will remind you that to have a voice in your family gathering, you just have to have money. They always emphasize that no one listens to a poor member of the family. While we cannot dismiss such prism in its completeness, it is becoming overbearing in narration, and it is driving the younger elements in so many wrong directions. With people seeing the undercurrent insincerity of these motivational speakers, it seems their usual bylines are waning out of relevance.
Societal construct often gives validity to specific issues and matters of general concerns, no doubt, but these constructs are hardly static or rigid in themselves. Therefore, the profundity of a people’s value should naturally transcend the narrow philosophy of owonikoko (money is only what matters). No one who has an inkling of what value transmissible through the concept of legacy will have such a narrow mindset. A worthy legacy may find complex expression in poverty, but poverty itself should not be an overarching factor to undermine or underrate the essence of a worthy legacy. Who knows, it may be why we were told that it is an aberration to have three successive generations of poverty in a lineage. Thus, if the first and second generations struggle with poverty, the third is expected to break the yoke finally. Here is the crux of the matter.
What is significant about the third generation breaking the poverty cycle? One can fathom that by learning from the previous two generations’ mistakes, the third generation is better equipped to right the wrongs of the past. Plus, it can be deduced that past failures might be more fantastic motivators to succeed than past successes. We have seen many families that cannot keep the successes of the previous generations. Nevertheless, what is particular about the third generation ending the poverty cycle? Without some worthy legacies from the first and second generations, despite their poverty conditions, the task I dare say may not be easy even for the third to execute successfully. If these arguments suffice, it can affirm that legacies are more profound and worth much more than money or riches or wealth.
What then is the intrinsic value of legacy?
Legacies are the totality of life worthy of emulation and transferrable with contentment and candor of achievers. Kindly note the two essential words here, ‘emulation,’ something that can be copied with satisfaction, and ‘transferrable,’ meaning it can be taught and learned by willing admirer and adherent. I know we can also transfer money. However, that is where it ends. Frugality and contentment, for instance, can be emulated and transferred. It thus means that frugality and contentment are worthier legacies than mere money. Honesty can be emulated and transferred to a willing inheritor. It can be taught and learned as well. Kindness openly demonstrated with integrity, empathy, fidelity to promises, and agreements will always be worthy of emulation and transferable to willing inheritor as well.
There is no doubt that good legacies can be squandered as money can be by a careless inheritor; the good thing about legacy is that it can fast track returning better than money. Most money inheritors may not even know how to make money but are only used to consumption. A fidelity person can ‘reconnect’ with life with just one opportunity to prove how dependable he/she can be.
In terms of value, therefore, legacy trump money as a worthy inheritance. Legacy is a way of life; money is a means of living. The baby elephant inherits the legacy of honor and dignity that money may not be able to buy. The cub inherits the kingly disposition of a lion. A wise child inherits the hoary wisdom of a worthy parent.I am the son of my father, and my father was grounded in the Yorubas of Western Nigeria’s wise sayings. My father also left me a legacy of integrity, honesty, and kindness. He showed how to stand for others when they are tramped upon.He was adept in the language, Yoruba, and biblical ethos.
He feared God, but any man did not cow him. I am the humbled son of my father.
Who are you, and what legacy will you leave behind?
Bolutife is a Chartered Accountant and Public Policy Scholar based in Canada. He is the author of “Thoughts of A Village Boy”.
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