A couple of days ago I was talking to a fellow gun owner about the importance of his gun collection. A man who worked hard his whole life, he never made a lot of money. But through the years he gathered a prized collection of firearms, all of which he used to help feed his family, and for sport shooting. He also retained some arms passed down to him by his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, all of which he maintained.
He told me that it was important to tell his own children and grandchildren, all of whom are healthy and doing well, what owning firearms and shooting with family members has meant to him. He rarely talks about his wartime experience… or the medals he earned for combat bravery that he keeps in a bottom drawer. He told me a bit, as a fellow soldier, but did not make a big deal out of it. Silver Star with cluster, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts… and no big deal to him. He was protecting his fellow soldiers you see, and they would have done so for him.
Another fellow soldier wrote some words passing down his weapons. You may remember him – George Washington. Here is a bit of what our first President, and our war hero and military commander, said:
“To General de la Fayette, I give a pair of finely wrought steel pistols, taken from the enemy in the Revolutionary war… [t]o each of my Nephews… I give one of the Swords or Cutteaux of which I may die possessed; and they are to chuse in the order they are named. These swords are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheath them for the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self defence, or in defence of their Country & its rights; and in the latter case, to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands, to the relinquishment thereof.”
Our President did not just give away swords and pistols – he charged the recipients with DUTY. We should all take a lesson from this.
It’s a detailed Will, written with love, care and attention. If you want all the details, you can read the full text of President Washington’s Will.
Maybe it’s time to set up YOUR legacy…to tell a bit of your story. You see, it’s a big deal to the rest of us – it inspires us and informs us about living a meaningful life.