I was talking to a friend the other day and she mentioned Sidney Poitier’s latest book, Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter. In it the aging actor writes a series of inspirational letters to his newly born great-granddaughter. Drawing on his own experience, he reflects on some of life’s profound themes – love, faith, death, personal strengths, and failures. This isn’t so much biography as it is an elder’s advice for a great-granddaughter Poitier knows he will never see into adulthood. You can read a review here.
Poitier’s book is really an elaborate, extended ethical will. Unlike property wills, an ethical will is a “spiritual” letter to a loved one in which a person writes about their values and beliefs, life lessons learned, hopes, what they’re grateful for, faith, and forgiveness.
We all owe it to those we love to take the time to compose our ethical will. None of us know how much time we have on earth. Accidents, illness, and violent acts can cut our lives short. How do you want to be remembered?
Here are some other ethical will websites you might find helpful.
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Image created by Dan Curtis from a photo by Kevin Walsh