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Leaving a REAL legacy for your family


In Episode 036 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss what it REALLY means to leave a legacy for your family.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich. And today we're going to talk about legacy building.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we always remind our listeners that although we're experts, and we've been married for a very long time, and many of the topics, pretty much all of the topics that we talk about, we've actually worked through and been through ourselves, but we are not trained, licensed, or professional therapists or counselors. We use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our advice, our experience, our stories and our opinions.

Nik:

If you haven't already, make sure that you are following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star review on Apple podcasts. I've been saying iTunes, but iTunes is for music and Apple has its own podcasting platform. iTunes, Apple podcasts, y'all know I'm talking about.

Rich:

As always, we want to take a moment to say thank you to our listeners. We also want to thank those that choose to tune in and see us live at 8pm eastern standard time with our Talkback Live. So, if you have not tuned in, make sure that you do and you will get to hear a recap of today's show, as well as us going a little bit deeper.

Nik:

Tune in on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/nakedproverbs/live And like my husband said we'll be going on, on time y'all. We are timely Black folks, eight o'clock pm Eastern Standard Time hope to see y'all there.

Rich:

Being timely. That can be part of your legacy.

Nik:

It can.

Rich:

You know, and I think that the funny thing is, is when people hear the word legacy, most people immediately think, if you're leaving a legacy, you are leaving some money. But leaving a legacy can be so many other things. According to Webster, there were two definitions for legacy, one of which was leaving any amount of money or property that's left in a will. So, that's the typical version of I think the word legacy that most people think of. But if you read a little bit further, it actually says, or anything passed down from the past. And when I read that, it really opened up my mind to what a legacy could be.

Nik:

The definition that I read, it says, goes a little bit further, it says from an ancestor or predecessor. So, it's specifically linking it to a heritage and DNA and genetics, right? And then there's another definition out there. And it has to do with applicants who are applying to school or college that their parents attended. So, I think those are all really good definitions to open up the door for this conversation, because like you said, so many people think about legacy just as a financial thing or property.

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

But the truth is, like you opened up this conversation being timely and starting on time, that's part of your legacy.

Rich:

And can I add a fourth definition for legacy? Because we are both members have Black Greek letter Organizations.

Nik:

Yes.

Rich:

And you can have a Legacy even in that,

Nik:

yes, you should,

Rich:

You should. If you've joined an organization and your child seeks to join that same organization, then they are technically considered legacy.

Nik:

Yeah. You know, we didn't really talk about this before we did the podcast and when we were going over our notes, but I think it would be helpful for us to outline what are some types of legacy?

Rich:

Well, if your father is a member of Kappa Alpha Phi Fraternity Incorporated, and you choose to become a member of Kappa Phi Fraternity Incorporated, I'm just throwing fraternities out there, you know, then you could be a legacy of that, you know, the fraternity? I don't think there's any others. I don't know. But I know that one's a great one.

Nik:

That's a good one. So, joining a fraternity or sorority is definitely a type of legacy that you can create or leave for your children and your children's children. We mentioned property and finances.

Rich:

I mean, there are multiple organizations such as Jack and Jill Links, you know, those are all organizations? I mean, the Boule

Nik:

Sigma Pi Phi. Yeah.

Rich:

Yes, those are organizations in our community, the Black community that you can definitely be a legacy member of if your parents are a part of any of those organizations, and then you choose to join. And many of them actually do give preferential, I don't wanna say treatment, but preferential membership, maybe? I don't know.

Nik:

Well, and some of them, specifically Jack and Jill. If your child is a Jack and Jill member, and you're a Jack and Jill mom, your grandchildren automatically get membership in Jack and Jill. And to me legacy is one of those things, and I think that's a great example of it, where the mom sought membership or was selected to get into this organization, she contributed work and finances and donated her time, talent and treasure to this organization. So, when her daughter, her son has children, she's already paved the way for them. So, it's not an uncharted territory, like they shouldn't have to start over,

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

every generation seeking membership or, we're using an organization because I think it's something that's easy for people to understand.

Rich:

I had the privilege of going home this past week, and spending time with my older sister and we had a long conversation about leaving legacies. And I use the example of the wheel. In the Black community every generation, we literally discover the wheel. We're like, oh, my god, there's a wheel.

Nik:

The W-H-E-E-L.

Rich:

Yes. Like he goes on your car. We're like, oh, my goodness, there's a wheel. What are we gonna do with this?

Rich:

Then the next generation comes along? Oh, my goodness, here's a wheel. What do I do with this?

Rich:

And in other communities, somebody that first generation identifies wow, this is a wheel. The next generation says, you know, we're going to put a cart around this wheel. And now we have a wheel barrel, oh, wow, we've advanced past the wheel. Then the next generation comes in and says, you know what, we're going to build four of these and put them on the bottom of a slab of wood, and oh, we have a cart.

Rich:

So, we've gone from a wheel, to a wheel barrel with one wheel, to a cart, to eventually a car or an airplane. And it's like they continually build on the previous generation. And to me, that's part of what is missing in our community. When we're talking about building a legacy. We fail to build off the previous generation. So, we literally just start over every generation. And that's why we fall further and further and further behind. One of the reasons, when it comes to the wealth gap in America.

Nik:

Let's not minimize the fact that African Americans were already be set up to be 10,000 steps behind

Rich:

Definitely.

Nik:

other races and cultures in this country. Our history set us up to find a wheel every generation, but that needs to stop. Like it needs to stop. We are at a place now, in this country, are things perfect? No. Are there still hindrances and things that prevent us from being able to build the cart as quickly or as efficiently as other people? Yes.

Rich:

But I would say I agree. But why is it that we're still GoFundingMe when somebody passes in our families?

Rich:

And now we're not talking about a W-H-E-E-L. We're talking about a W-I-L-L. Right, like a last will and testament right or a living will. And I think that, you know, those are conversations that have to be had because they do impact your legacy from a financial standpoint, as well as just from all those other ways that You can pass on legacy. So, to me, I personally am at a point where it's like, Look, we got to stop making excuses. Because I understand that we've got the ball and chain on our ankle, I understand that there are people that are running a 400 meter race and their own 390 meters, and we're just starting. You know, I understand all that. But there comes a point where you have to decide, am I going to continue to make, to just use these reasons? Or am I going to fight for as much as I can change and have in my lifetime? Because maybe we will never have the same advantages as everyone else.

Nik:

Because we're not having these conversations in our families, it starts. Each one needs to reach one and teach one and we don't do that. And so often, as much as we want to assimilate and be like white people, we're not studying the right things. We're not picking up the things that are actually going to advance and help us. There's so many situations in our lives where we're like, how do they even know how to do that? Right? Like, how did you even know, to go to an attorney to write a will? At this point, we all know that we need to have a will. But we're not doing it because we don't know what the importance of it is. We don't understand, like, we're not understanding the value of a will. But yet, you know,

Nik:

We won't.

Rich:

But if we keep just sitting around talking about, I don't have any opportunity and I don't have any, then nothing will ever change, and we will continue to fall further and further and further behind.

Nik:

To me, it's not even a reason anymore. Our past and our history in this country is not a reason for ignorance anymore. At this point, it's an excuse. It's an excuse if you are not leaving some type of legacy for your kids. It's an excuse. There is so much accessible information, and everybody can figure out how to use Tik Tok in a week, we need to figure out how

Rich:

to leave a will how to have better mental health, how to have better healthy choices in our life.

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Rich:

If my kids come downstairs and all they see are Twinkies and Ding Dongs and Hos Hos and Kool Aid

Nik:

And bologna.

Rich:

And that's all they see, then they're going to believe that that's pretty normal. That's what you do. But if they come down and they're seeing carrots and

Nik:

apples

Rich:

and apples and whatever other healthy options we can come up with, then we are changing their legacy when it comes to healthy eating. So, like I said, in the beginning, there are so many different ways you can leave a legacy. And maybe right now you're not in a position to get help to write a will. Or you don't have the money to open up stocks for your children. But there are other ways that you can start to leave a healthy, stronger, better future through legacy for your family.

Nik:

Not only do the eating habits change the health of your family lineage, what comes to mind is diabetes. And I sat on the American Diabetes board for a period of time. And it's no surprise that diabetes is mainly in the Black community and the Hispanic community and communities of color. And a lot of it is attributed to our lifestyle. And a lot of people would argue that this lifestyle diabetes is passed down from child, from, I'm sorry, from parent to child. And that's not true. Heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure. These things are not necessarily

Rich:

DNA

Nik:

They're not.

Rich:

Right. You know, cu I think back to when you and I first got married, and we fried everything

Nik:

Literally everything. y'all.

Rich:

We had a deep fryer that had grease in it. I mean, we always had some, some oil in there and some shortening and some Crisco or whatever

Nik:

We did.

Rich:

we literally fried everything,

Nik:

Everything.

Rich:

I mean, you name it, we fried it. And then there came a point in our lives where we realize like, well, this can't be the best option. And we started to make small changes in our diet. And in our family. Some of them looked at us and some of them still make jokes about, do y'all want some turkey bacon, or do you even eat bacon? And you know, I mean, it was, you know, do you drink regular milk? Or, oh, that's right, you just drink water.

Rich:

But those jokes were not necessarily things that encouraged us. But we knew that if we wanted to change our own physical health, if we wanted to change the trajectory that our children were on, then we had to make lifestyle changes. We had to be committed to it. We had to really think about it. And we made those changes. And now my daughters went to stay with one of their uncles at one point. And he asked, he took them to the store, and he was like, y'all want some Ding Dongs and Ho Hos?

Nik:

It was Twinkies.

Rich:

Twinkies something and they were like, what?

Nik:

We've never eaten a Twinkie.

Rich:

My kids didn't know what a Twinkie was till they were like teens.

Nik:

They were in, they were

Rich:

teenagers

Rich:

High School. Yes. And to me, that's a good thing.

Nik:

Or no, they knew what it was they had just never eaten one.

Rich:

Well, that's okay.

Nik:

Well, you know, their uncle gave them a Twinkie and they did not like it. And we're again, this is another example that people can easily grasp onto because it is an, an issue in our community, leaving that unhealthy legacy. And we talked about this in an earlier podcast about body image and body type and how distorted it is in the Black community to think that, we are always quick to tell somebody you gettin into skinny. But we'll never, when's the last time you tell somebody

Rich:

ooh, you gettin a little big.

Nik:

You need you, need to put some meat on your bones.

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

You need to, are you, is she feeding you? You look hungry.

Rich:

When we're talking about leaving a legacy, we have to remember that you have to be purposeful. You know, we were purposeful in realizing that, you know, these probably aren't the best health choices we're making. So, we reflected on our choices. We were honest about them. And then we were purposeful moving forward, even though we weren't necessarily getting all the support that maybe we should have or that, you know, you would think one would get when they're making better choices. Because let's be honest, we can be some crabs in a barrel. Our family members, our friends, our, all those that we associate with can sometimes try to pull you back because you were doing something that is different. But when you're leaving a legacy, you are going to be different.

Nik:

And somebody has to make the sacrifice. It has to start with somebody and why can't that somebody be you? Why can't that somebody be you to break the cycle of renting in your family?

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

Why can't, why can't that be you? Why can't you start to build the legacy of home ownership and building wealth? Because hey, people, y'all out there listening. Owning a home is the foundation to building wealth.

Rich:

Period. There is, I mean, you could talk stocks, you could talk bonds, you can talk investments, you could talk all but real estate

Nik:

That's part of your portfolio.

Rich:

Right. It's nice to have a diverse portfolio.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

But at the end of the day, real estate, you don't have to believe me. Look, look at the richest people in America. Look at the richest people in the world. Real estate is the key. You know, I am blessed to work in the industry. I see things that I'm like, man, that must be nice. I have watched parents give their children the down payment on their house

Nik:

$40,000 out of their own personal bank account.

Rich:

$50,000, $60,000 and that's leaving a legacy.

Nik:

Are these Black people?

Rich:

Of course not.

Nik:

Okay. I just, I just want to put it out there.

Rich:

I think that you know, some people knock this episode because it seems like we are just taking a dig and well, you're lucky cuz you got to. You know, here's the reality. We both have student loans or had student loans.

Nik:

You had them; I have them.

Rich:

Right. But my child won't. And I'm not knocking my parents because guess what, my mom was the first person in my family to get an education. To complete it. We had multiple people that have started but not finish. My mom was the first and this wasn't at 24, 25. My mom had had three kids. Worked as a paraprofessional, in the school district. She tutored on the side before she finally realized, you know, I can do better. And she went to school. I think she's in her 30s. Like she had to been 30s because it wasn't her 40s yet.

Rich:

So, she was easily in her 30s went to school full time at night, while raising three kids and being a wonderful wife and taking care of everybody, everything. But she wanted to change the future. And from that, that inspired me to say, well, wait a minute, if my mom can go to school, then I'm gonna do this.

Rich:

So, then I went to college, my parents, they sent me off, they set me up, you know, and helped me out to the best that they could. And I went off to college. Long story short, I got a degree. And it has helped me in my career. It's, you know, I went and got an advanced degree. And now we're talking about sending our daughter off to college here in the fall.

Nik:

And it was her choice.

Rich:

Her choice. She never even sat there and thought like, well do I go to college? What do I like? Because we have set the standard and set this idea of this is what you do. And this is why you do it. Because you can't just think you're going to leave a legacy based off you need to do it because I said so. You have to train your children, train those people that are you trying to leave a legacy for, to understand why.

Nik:

Walk it like you talk it. That song that came out a couple years ago. Listen to the lyrics of that song. I mean, it's, it's a good bop, as the young people say. But listen to the, like, walk it like you talk it. And I've said this before, you have to show your children, you have to show your grandchildren proof.

Nik:

Give them something tangible to hold on to. Don't just say you need to eat healthy; you need to become a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Don't just tell them you need to go to college; don't just tell them you should own a home. You need to be demonstrating that and walking in it so they can understand and start to draw their own conclusions based off of your lifestyle.

Nik:

Somebody has to make the sacrifice. Mental health is another huge one that we probably don't have enough time to dig into the way that we, we should dig into it. But mental health is a huge legacy that you're passing on to your kids. What does that look like for you?

Rich:

Yes, I agree. I think that is a huge one. And I think like I said, just think about the patterns that you have in your life that you want to see differently. That you would like to see change in. And start to make that change because realize that it is going to impact your children, your children's children, your children's children's children, like generations. It's not just well, let me make these choices because it's going to make my life better. Because like Nik said, the reality is somebody has to make a sacrifice.

Rich:

A great book that talks about this is Millionaire Next Door. If you have never read Millionaire Next Door, I don't know who wrote it I mean, and I'm not trying to give em a shout out but go check it out. Because it talks about look, there was somebody that came to America, and they had a fruit cart. And they worked the fruit cart until they had enough money to send their kids to college so that their kids could then go on to do greater things. Then that fruit cart ultimately becomes a supermarket.

Rich:

Like you have to continue to build generation to generation. It's not just, well, what can I do to make my life better today? Like I am thinking about my great grandchildren that I don't even have right now. I am making plans and moves that will help my great great grandchildren. Even though I don't even know if I'm gonna have grandchildren.

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

But even if I don't, it's gonna help much children. So, you can't just plan for tomorrow or yesterday or even just today, you have to think deep into the future because everyone else is except for us. We want to buy the newest Nikes, we want to buy the newest Jordans, we want to buy the newest technology, the newest phone, because we want to live in right now, instead of realizing that we could make choices that could help us years, generations down the line.

Nik:

I want to go back to how you go about creating a legacy. You mentioned being, we were purposeful and intentional with our choices when we were making food changes in our lives. And health changes and that lifestyle. I would encourage people to write it down and make a plan.

Rich:

Definitely.

Nik:

Write it down and make a plan like this is step one, even if you don't really know what the next step is, but you know where the end goal is, start from the end, and then start to work backwards. So, if you are looking at changing the trajectory of

Rich:

debt in your household.

Nik:

Debt in your family, right. every generation, all y'all got bad credit, everybody around you got bad credit and you're like, I'm sick of this shit. I want good credit. I want to be able to go and do whatever I want to do. That's the goal, right? Good credit. What number do you want to see on that credit score? Start there and then start to work backwards.

Nik:

Again, there's so much information out here. So many tools and resources that are available to you for free to change the trajectory of your life. It starts with you. But then it trickles down into that branch of your family tree, to your children to your children's children, to your children's children's children. So, write it down.

Nik:

Another book I read when I was in college. And this is specific to the Black community. And I don't even know if the book is still in publication, but it was called Our Kind of People. Again, I don't know the author, but it's called Our Kind of People. And it talks about legacy. And it talks about, it's basically a book about the Black bourgeoisie is what it's about. But there's there was so much good information and good content in there, about how do you set your family up for success. So, when they find the wheel, it's already been built upon. Like, my kids shouldn't find a wheel and figure out like, what the heck is this? Because we already found on the wheel.

Rich:

We kind of went through different types of legacy. And then of course, we kind of came back around to financial, but understand that everybody is not in a position financially, to do the things that we're saying. So, maybe you can’t, maybe you are in your late years of life, you're like, I can't just get up and go to college. I don't have no money. I don't have any opportunity. But you can, there are other things you can teach your family, like, work ethic, your morals, if you have any type of spirituality, hobbies.

Rich:

You know, I was talking to my dad. And I was like, you know, something I thought about, because a lot of times you do not find African Americans that fish and hunt if they're from the city. However, if they're from the south or the country, that's pretty common, right? And it hit me as my dad, myself and my nephew. So, three generations were out fishing. And I was like, you know, because my dad was showing him how to tie efficient knot. And I was like, who told you how, showed you how to tie that knot Daddy? And he's like my daddy. And I was like, well, because I remember exactly where I was when you showed me how to tie that knot. And I was like, so now you've shown me, you've shown your grandson, and my nephew never got to meet my dad's father because he died when, you know, before my nephew was born. But we just passed something down that I guarantee came from further back then my grandfather, it probably my dad was like, well, it probably came from my grandfather, or even my great grandfather.

Rich:

And I know that's simple, right? We're talking about tying a fishing knot. But that's what legacy is. It is passing down knowledge. It is passing down wealth. It is passing down, from generation to generation, so that you can continue to build upon it and do amazing things.

Nik:

It's the blueprint for your branch of the family tree.

Rich:

That's it. Yeah, exactly. And I think you know, even when you're having conversations about legacy, it's important, especially in our community, to talk about, well, why? What is our history, I had the privilege of going and walking on land in Oklahoma three, four years ago that my great great grandfather, the first freed slave, he was a runaway, he owned. He was part of the great land rush in Oklahoma.

Nik:

40 acres and the mule.

Rich:

I don't know. It was a great land rush. I don't know if I don't think it's 40 acres and a mule. This wasn't the government giving to Black people, this was everybody, just, that's why it's called the great land rush. Whoever rushed there first, got some land.

Nik:

Okay.

Rich:

So, he got some land. And here I am three, four, maybe even five generations later, I don't know. And it was like, wow. So not to get all deep, but it's no longer my family. But one of the families that also did the same thing that I've grown up knowing my whole life, African American family, they still own that land. Their land. Because they're great great grandfather was also part of the great land rush of America. And it's been passed down from generation to generation. It's grown in size. They went from, you know, a few acres to over 3000 acres of land. Black family that owns this. Because when their family members began to pass, because that happens, they weren't quick to sell it for $2, $10, $1,000, $10,000

Nik:

$30,000.

Rich:

They weren't like, oh, yeah, let's sell it because I'm never going down to farm. Nope. They found a way to keep the land in their family. They found a way to grow what was given to them.

Rich:

And I think that that is the bigger part of why we fail to have a legacy is, first of all, we don't know. But then as we learn, we don't understand the compounding of growth and wealth and knowledge by keeping it. We're so quick to get a quick buck. Because we don't really get it. But we have to if we really want to have opportunity, if we really want to see change. If we don't want five generations from now to be saying the same things, I got bad credit on the system, whatever. I got diabetes. Then we have to make those changes. Can somebody GoFundMe to help me pay for my, my mom, my mama's funeral, whatever. Like you have to want to change if you really want to leave a legacy.

Nik:

Thanks, so much for tuning into this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And we'll talk to y'all in the next one.

Rich:

Peace.

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