Is inheriting from your parents a right or a privilege?

happy kids

We inherit genetics from our parents, and that’s a given. Is it a must that we also inherit what they own? I’ve often thought about this and don’t agree with it at all. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll run this through you by my own example.

I’ve watched my parents, for the longest time ever, struggle to get their business up and running. They were kicked out of the house because (God forbid!) they had a love marriage, which was really looked down upon in the 60s. Their love must have overcome everything because without a penny in his pocket, two children and a wife to look after, my father struggled to put food on the table. Eventually he started off a business with his friends, and they turned out to be vile humans who conned him out of his business so he was back to Square One. He didn’t give up. He started yet another business, and by this time, my little sister was old enough to go to school (she was born when Dad was starting up the first business) and Mum joined him once the photo lab was up and running.

Between the two of them, the business rose and became very successful, with a couple of branches in the city and in Mombasa too. Suddenly the family that kicked them out decided it was ok to be around them and most of the past was left right there.

I often sit and wonder, why do people think they really should be given what their parents have earned in their lifetime to their children? If my Mum has any jewellery, for her to pass it on to me or my sister, or even my sister in law is not our right. It’s an honour and a privilege. She can easily give it to her sisters, or whoever she feels like giving it away to. If I am to receive such a generous gift from her, I will keep it to pass it on to my daughter as her legacy.

Having watched my father struggle so hard and become so successful in life, I have learned the best lessons in life from him. Work hard and it surely pays off. Never have your hand and begging bowl out to ask for things from people. Work hard for it and you’ll surely get it. Having watched my parents work hard and be successful is the reason why I stand strong and proud today. I never sued the ex husband for any alimony at all. I didn’t earn it (and truth be told, neither did he – it was all his father’s hard work) so I didn’t for a minute think I had rights to that.

So if you are being given something by your parents, either while they are alive or as an inheritance after they pass away, be grateful and thankful for what you have. Unless you have actively played part in building your parents’ wealth, in my very strong opinion, you are not owed anything at all. Your parents have educated you, brought you to a point where you are self-sufficient and able to earn your own living. My father was thirteen when he quit school and started earning to put food on the table. So despite not being formally educated, he worked hard and put his mind to it and made a success of himself. His life partner stood by him and ensured he didn’t sign any more of his hard earned money to dodgy friends who were out to con him.

It’s a privilege, not a right, to inherit something from our parents. Be grateful. Not many get anything at all.

 

Twitter: @kamz26

 

 

 

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