Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blood Lines

Certain choice dogs, horses, cats and other creatures are subjected to selective breeding by their human owners. The bloodlines of these animals are of tantamount importance because the offspring from said champions yield big bucks in the marketplace.

In the human sphere, bloodlines also play a large role when it comes to the passage of money and property from one generation to the next. As this blogger is at the cusp of what is termed "old age," she and many of her friends have experienced the death of parents. In the case of those whose parents had assets to pass on, an interesting phenomenon has been observed.

In this modern age where divorce and remarriage happens, we get what my mother once called "the over-extended family." In a mixture of half-siblings, step-siblings, and full siblings, combined with step-parents and blood parents, the question of bloodlines versus emotional family ties makes for quite the stew...and plenty to stew over when the wills are read.

In the case of family ties created by social interactions of people not related genetically, the default position for inheritance usually follows the bloodlines. Naturally, this common scenario produces hurt, anger, resentment and often ill will by the family member not in the bloodline of the benefactor. And possibly for good reason; after having been treated as a real family member, when the rubber meets the road the dough goes to the genetically connected family member.

This trend bespeaks of an ancient, tribal mentality where genetic lineages signified the survival of the clan. In todays world, this notion is outmoded, yet our ancestral voices echo through the ages and dictate our decisions in the 21st century.

Although there are no right answers to the question of inheritance via blood lies versus social family ties, one thing is for sure. We will all become dirt one day, leaving behind every earthly possession. While we are here, no matter who gets the goods - or the short end of the stick - peace, harmony, compassion and gratitude are by far the greater inheritance.

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