I’m constantly thinking about my life and the next generation. It’s partly because when I was young, my father died and I understand that life is short, so making the most out of the time we have becomes important. In the context of living a life of legacy, one thing I’m a firm believer in is not cursing the next generation. Some people have this notion that cursing is simply using profane or vulgar language. While this does fit the description, it does not put in perspective the entirety of what it means.
The bible says that the power of life and death lies within our tongues. Words have the ability to make or break us. As kids, we were taught that, “sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never harm us.” The reality is that words can kill. Is it any wonder that God admonishes us to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to become angered? There are a number of ways in which we curse the next generation.
- Esteem Stealer: Too often we can be the very one to rob children of their esteem when we speak negatively of them. Whether it’s putting them down about their physical challenges or lack of talent, you can dramatically cripple a young person’s esteem through the things you say to them.
- Dream Killer: This is one of those things that can really destroy a young person who wants to go far. Often, it is because we never did what we dreamed was possible. Projecting your own failures or ability to pursue your dreams should be what motivates you to do all you can to see that their dreams don’t get dashed.
- Critic-Al: A major issue would definitely have to be being a critical person. We often do the greatest harm, calling ourselves giving “constructive” criticism. However, it can appear to a young person, that you are just being mean or that they can never measure up to your standards. Praise for what they do well goes a long way.
What’s worse is that we don’t just curse the next generation by what we say. We curse them by what we don’t say, as well as what we do and don’t do. If we are to truly bless the next generation with a legacy that leaves them better off than when we were with them, we have to make the proper deposits and investments into their lives. Time, money, praise, wisdom, values and virtues are but a few ways in which we do this. Commit to adding positive things to their lives and subtract the negative things from them.
QUESTION: How might you be able to leave a legacy that is free of the curse of the generation that came before you?