Blogging has really become second nature to me. When I started, almost five years ago, I had no goal and no agenda. I was just beginning to seriously put words to paper, and two writers, whom I admire greatly, maintained blogs. I thought it was great discipline, a way to connect to others, and didn’t really think too much beyond that.
It wasn’t until I was writing an assignment for a client on spiritual and ethical wills that the scope of my daily blogging really hit me.
Ethical wills have been around for centuries. A family of Jewish rabbis (scholars and translators) became known for their translations in the 12th and 13th centuries. This one family (ibn Tibbon) is responsible for the translations rendered into Hebrew, of the chief Jewish writings of the middle ages, and their legacy of ethical wills is still studied today.
Judah ben Saul ibn Tibbon wrote an ethical will to his son, Samuel, that is noted for its homely style and frankness. In it, he conveys advice ranging from morality to how to prepare oneself for translations, and recommending a free library and constant practice of writing and translating skills. His loving and fatherly advice shine from every word, and you come away with a clear picture of what made this man tick, what he cared about and how much he wished for his son.
Over the years, my purpose in blogging has undergone several changes. I’ve blogged for myself, for my friends, and for my family. What I have come to realize it is a legacy, of sorts, a legacy that money can’t buy. My experiences are unique, and hopefully contain some kind of wisdom that my heirs can use.
Every one of us has a story, and every one of us has a unique voice. Blogging or journaling in some way gives us an opportunity to reach across generations, and leave to our heirs the story of our lives that only we can tell. Lessons we’ve learned, opinions developed, special family moments preserved. Through my blog, I’m hoping that a future generation will know me as a person, and not a distant ancestor, boring and old. I’m hoping that my children and grandchildren will know me as someone who lived life, and didn’t just sit on the sidelines, waving.
When you’re thinking of blogging or composing an ethical will, keep in mind the following questions to help you focus:
Of course, not every blog entry is so seriously considered, nor should it be. Some things are private and personal and should remain so. My purpose is to convey more than moral lessons or proper social etiquette. My purpose is to reach out and touch, to document and inspire. To me, that’s a legacy worth more than any material thing I could leave behind.