Friday, July 16, 2004

The Ultimate Vanity Publication:  We all remember those silly yet entertaining old movies where a bunch of people sit around a t.v. and suddenly see the image of their recently-departed crazy uncle, who intones these words:  "If you're watching this, I'm already dead."  He then goes on to say how whoever can stay in his old house overnight will share in his millions.  Typical hilarity ensues.
Well, this extreme example is an apt example of what is apparently becoming more popular today:  the instructional (coined "ethical") will.  Basically, in addition to your legal last will and testament, you leave a companion will, which will describe your values, how you wish your legacy to be fulfilled, and maybe some more annoying parental advice. 
To which I say:  bushwah.  Just as you can't take it with you, you also can't rule from The Great Beyond.  If you haven't made a significant enough impact on the lives of your loved ones by the time you kick it, then what gives you the right to impose upon them when you're gone?  Only hubris makes us write these things.  If you want to write a goodbye letter, be my guest.  But don't presume to hand down instructions when you're reduced to an urn on the mantle.

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