Give & Take in the family

By May 27, 2014 No Comments

This is a story about an old man, his children and some antiquities. When his parents died in the 1980s, the old man inherited a set of antique furniture that had been in the family since the 1850s. The old man was now in his 80s and had started planning for the days when he would no longer be around. He wanted the antique furniture to pass on to one of his three children to “keep it in the family” as he put it. For some reason he wanted this to happen rather swiftly.
He approached his children about this, but it soon became clear that none of the three children had room for the furniture in their houses. He then asked the oldest son if he could arrange for the furniture to be bought by a local museum, so that it at least was possible for the family to see it there. The museum already had a lot of antique furniture, and was not willing to take responsibility for more.
When asked if he could not just sell the old stuff, the old man made it very clear that he did not want it to leave the family. No solution was found, and the furniture is still in the house of the old man.
The story might not be a good example of give&take practice, but I think it illustrates the complications of give&take in the family where tradition, emotions, and complicated relations often makes it hard to see who is giving and who is taking.
(photo: Wikipedia)

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