OUR VOICE: In the end, better to give than hold tight

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Farm Forum

We should always live our lives knowing all the stuff we “own” is really borrowed.

Thanks to the next generation — more often our own flesh and blood — the stuff we hold sacred is often the first thing up in the auction block after we die. So many times have we seen the living say one thing, and the younger generation saying another after their loved one has died:

Grandpa claiming his family will never sell this land, and seeing his children drool as the bids keep coming and going higher for the prized land.

Grandma saying her salt and pepper collection is her pride and joy, and seeing the rummage sale prize tag saying “$10 for all or best offer.”

Mr. Smith Sr. saying his house that is surrounded by Corporate America will never be sold to big business, and seeing Mr. Smith Jr. sell it when it becomes his house.

Adventurous elders going outdoors to seek their thrills, and the younger generation with that same frame of mind only going outside on their way to the video game store.

There was a time in Aberdeen that baseball fans could not imagine this community without their Pheasants. And the thought of Aberdeen without an amateur team (it has happened) was laughable.

Think about all the grand civic groups Aberdeen used to have. Do you think during their heydays, members thought one day their group would disband for a lack of members?

A few years ago, South Dakota used to have well-kept high school sports records, thanks to a great sports editor who made keeping those records a priority. Some worried what would happen to those records when he died. One day, he died. An inquiry into those records a few months later brought the response, “What records?”

In an instant, what we hold so precious can be gone.

We all love our stuff. But we need to remember that not everyone in our family has the same love for it.

That is why you see people on reality TV telling those who are buying their prized possessions: I need to get rid of it now or my kids will just throw it all away when I die.

Life is, indeed, precious, but we all need to think about how we invest our time. Will our relatives remember us for our possessions, or the unconditional love we gave them, the help and support we provided them and the time we spent with them?

What creates the real memories of our lives? Should we be kept busy hoarding our money or looking for ways to help others with it?

And remember, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to someone.

— American News editorial board