Some parents can give their kids real power. Think of Queen Elizabeth, who literally gives a kingdom to her children. Some parents can give wealth. Think of Warren Buffett’s children. Some parents can give talent and access–Jabari Smith, for instance, just helped his son enter the NBA at the top of the draft, through a combination of his genetics and understanding of the game.
Maybe you’re one of those parents, but chances are you’re not. We don’t have huge properties or valuable networks to give to our children. They can’t inherit our jobs or our reputations. But that’s alright. In The Girl Who Would Be Free, Epictetus’ father reminds her that Epictetus has a huge empire between her ears. That our minds are priceless kingdoms that very few people actually control.
The brain we gave our children is an inheritance–one not just from us but from millions of years of evolution. It contains the power to be rational, to be smart, to be creative, to have purpose, to do good, to be happy. Yet how many people squander this legacy? How many people let it atrophy and fall into disrepair? Or outright abuse it–be it through drugs or bad habits?
Our job as parents is to raise our kids to rule their own minds, to be competent and confident enough to take over the grand estate they were born to. Can you do this? Or are you too busy with work, with making money–as so many other kings and queens were–to properly raise and train the next generation?