This morning I read about Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, whose will revealed that she left nothing of her £51 million fortune to her two daughters.
Wow! I don't even know how to react. Naturally I respect her for sticking to her promise of not leaving anything to them and giving all the money to charity instead, but imagine the determination it would take to make such a decision.
E and i discussed it in the office. So many people who started out poor, or well, not rich, work their way up but are adamant that their children should work as hard to get to their level in life. I completely agree that it's good to make sure children don't grow up spoilt, but isn't the whole point of making it rich to be able to afford a certain lifestyle for yourself, your partner and children? I see a clear difference between teaching children the value of hard work and wanting them to suffer the same way one may have suffered to make it.
In Anita Roddick's case, of course that wasn't issue, she resented the idea of leaving huge sums of money to children and family and all the fuss that was made about money.
It is fantastic that she could give all that money away to charity and her daughters supported her in that decision, but somehow it also feels a little reckless. I can't help feeling she could have left just £1 million for them, say for a rainy day? To have worked all those years, building the Body Shop for thirty years only to give all the money away. It says so much about her character, what a strong personality and what a desire to denounce the value of money for other things. As much as i admire her, I am almost certain I could not have made the same decision.
Would you be able to give away all your money for a good cause?
Meanwhile, whilst writing this post, a fascinating weather drama has played out outside my window as a curtain of grey clouds closed on the pale blue sky and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean that I looked out over fifteen minutes ago has vanished into the midst of grey that tells no tale of where the sky ends and the sea begins.