If you couldn’t bear to watch Megan Markle bare her soul to Oprah (or if you couldn’t look away from it, and from the endless commentary that followed), here are two practical things you can actually take from the latest episode of this saga:
1. There are serious challenges to growing up in a wealthy family with a public profile. The weight of expectations is heavy, and finding identity and meaning can be difficult. Marrying into such a family has similar but slightly different challenges.
One of the hardest issues is: who can one talk to about this? Who can genuinely understand the experience, show empathy, and be a helpful sounding board? I don’t think this can come from a televised interview and the opinions of the social media masses. As my good friend says: “the poor want to be rich, and the rich want to be happy”. People without wealth or fame see them as a panacea that will solve all their problems. People with them understand that they come with their own problems.
However … 2. There is an intergenerational narrative here that has struck a chord with some younger people. A stodgy old institution deeply rooted in colonialism and vestiges of racist culture being exposed publicly (by a whistleblower) and forced by external pressure to change and adapt to the times. That is a similar script to the #MeToo movement and other such exposures of established cultures.
This is not the forum to discuss how a royal family stays relevant in a changing world. However, this same narrative plays out in many families, where the rising generation challenges established cultures. Those families need to build their own intergenerational bridges, and work out how to adapt and remain relevant to their own emerging stakeholders, both born and married in..
Consider This: Do the members of your family have a support network that provides empathy and a safe space to vent? Are they comfortable with their “privilege” and able to see both the positives and negatives? Is your family able to openly discuss and challenge family cultural norms?
Original articles & further reading: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/meghan-millennial-hero/, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-brain-work/201203/has-coddling-entire-generation-children-set-them-fo, https://www.npr.org/2016/09/13/493615864/when-it-comes-to-our-politics-family-matters, https://www.nestegg.com.au/retirement/11590-intergenerational-imbalance-the-central-problem-of-our-time, https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/everyone-suffers-when-younger-and-older-people-don-t-mix-1.811571
Actionable Generational Wealth Succession
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