man in gray shirt holding baby in white onesie
Photo by nappy on

It’s Black History Month and as we live each day, we build the story of our lives and create the platform for our descendants from which to build their story. It is exciting and empowering to provide the resources and the tools for our children and our children’s children (be they biological, spiritual or community children) future success. 

The racial wealth gap was created by the consistent denial of fair and equitable compensation and opportunities to create wealth.  The gap is enhanced by the institutional racism that continues to deny opportunities and access in addition to not taking every opportunity to personally build wealth. 

Many of the decisions that we make today impact the trajectory of the lives of our children and our community.  As we raise our children, both biological and adopted, formally and informally, we impact the future of our lives and theirs.  We impact our children’s future and the future of our community and world. 

As we invest in our community, we help shape the future of our community.  Through estate planning, we have great capacity to impact our family.  Unfortunately, we have seen the tragedies and the crisis of the impact of life lost without preparation.  We have seen the GoFundMe drives that have been created out of despair of families without the resources to react to the tragedies.  That despair on top of the grief can be unyielding.   

We have also had the privilege of working with families who have had to experience the grief of the loss of a loved one and was able to take the time to focus on the life and the legacy of the one who has passed.  The life could be appropriately celebrated with testimonies of a life well lived and the blessings that were presented during a lifetime and beyond without concern about how to manage the preparations.  They were able to create endowments that will continue to provide blessings beyond the immediacy to provide the perpetual giving. 

Every one of us is creating history by living. Our stories are being created as we live. Sometimes those stories happen to us and sometimes we create a framework with a target in mind that speaks to our core values as well as our expected impact.  Many times our lives are a list of things that have happened to us.  However, in many cases, we have the opportunity to create an action plan and follow the steps to achieve the plan so that our lives have accomplished the goals.   

If we are on a journey with no targeted location, we will indeed arrive somewhere. If we are on a journey with a map and desired destination, there is a greater chance that we will arrive where we have predetermined. 

Strategic planning provides the opportunity to create a destination. Estate planning allows us to create a destination for not just ourselves but for those who follow after us. We can provide a map with resources for not just our children, our children’s children and our community.  We are able to build up those around us and those who come after us. 

During Black History Month, we celebrate those who came before us. I encourage each of us to take the opportunity to pave the way for those who come behind us. 

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