Friday, May 05, 2006

Healthy Aging & Ethical Wills

I was pleased to read what Andrew Weil, M.D. had to say about ethical wills in his latest book, Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide for Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being:

"I can think of no better way to end this book than to recommend that you undertake the composition of an ethical will. No matter how old you are, it can be an exercise that will make you take stock of your life experience and distill from it the values and wisdom you have gained. You can then put the document aside, read it over as the years pass, and revise it from time to time as you see fit. Certainly, an ethical will can be a wonderful gift to leave your family at the end of your life, but I think its main importance is what it can give you in the midst of life."

He goes on to say in his "Twelve-Point Program for Healthy Aging" on the last page of his book:

"12. Keep an ongoing record of the lessons you learn, the wisdom you gain, and the values you hold. At critical points in your life, read this over, add to it, revise it, and share it with people you care about."

As a popular author, Dr. Weil's words of wisdom will be widely read and, I hope, will encourage more people to get started on an ethical will of their own.
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