I spent nine months perched on a tractor, trying to plough an arrow-straight furrow on the bald prairie. I learned about windrows and farming, but I admit am blissfully ignorant about Facebook.
I chose long ago to remain off Facebook until I could devote some time to understanding how it works and Facebook had demonstrated something of value to share with the world. While I am blissfully ignorant about Facebook, I do listen at family gatherings to the family gossip. I do know who has moved where, who has a new dog, which of my nieces or nephews is on the verge of graduation, and that the nief-norf festival is in Knoxville.
While I am aware of the concept behind vehicle GPS systems, I am blissfully ignorant of how to program one. I expect I will remain so until I grow up and can better tolerate someone—even a sweet-voiced mechanical someone—telling me where to go. Although I overheard one conversation that confirmed I may have waited just a little too long to learn that skill for it to be useful.
Imagine a couple, both in their 80s, encased in the comfy seats of their new car. The vehicle is filled with all the creature comforts known to man, including a GPS. His role as driver and her role as navigator have been cemented in place with glue that has withstood the test of time.
The driver has mastered the GPS and plugs in the coordinates. The smooth voice of the beautiful electronic voice of the system says, “Take the main road and, in 600 feet, turn left at the intersection.”
“WHAT DID SHE SAY?” he says in a booming voice way too loud for a small car. Time has left them both with hearing aids in ears that worked much better when they were young.
“TURN LEFT.” The navigator says in a voice much too big for her petite frame.
“I DON’T NEED TO TURN LEFT TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT,” he screams back. “I NEED TO GO RIGHT!”
She counters to the deaf-as-a-post man, “IN 600 FEET GO LEFT.” But by then he is past his turn.
“WHY DID SHE SAY WE SHOULD GO EAT?” he shouts.
The real navigator quietly sighs and then shouts back at him, “SHE SAID, ‘IN 600 FEET’.”
In the background the electronic voice sweetly says “Recalculating,” over and over.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” he replies. “I CAN’T HEAR A DARN THING WITH THIS GPS LADY MUMBLING ON. I’M GOING TO TURN HER OFF SO I CAN HEAR YOU, DEAR. I KNOW THE WAY HOME.”
I may stay blissfully ignorant of some things forever.
It is perfectly acceptable to remain blissfully ignorant about legacy gifts, such as charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, and stripped bonds. But we have cherished items we need to pass on, such as one more bit of wisdom, one more gift, and one more direction.
We learned from childhood that we have an obligation to actively choose where things will go at the end of the day. Pick up our toys before bed. Pay the bills before the month’s end and the taxes before their due date each year. Save some money for retirement.
Creating and updating a will is the same principle. It ensures that those items we give away go where we intend at the end of the day.
According to several surveys*, about half of Canadian adults do not have a signed will. Do you?
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