Swift, as you know, was an Anglican preacher. As a moralist, he also loved public executions and used to dress as a Grubstreet Hack to hawk his fraudulent, "Confessions of the Hanged Man," at the foot of the gallows. "I saw a woman flayed the other day," he once wrote, "and you have no idea how it altered her appearance for the worse." That is satire, now sermon.
I have a hard time praying. What I pray for most, in the spirit of a man standing out in the rain, finger raised to the thunder clouds, is to be used as a lightning rod. Money should follow the spirit. Yet, everywhere it is money that corrupts the spirit and the body politic.
All we can do, I think, as advisors, is to open a reflective space where the spirit can move those who have most. The spirit moves or does not. But it is the advisor who a opens a crack in the ceiling, and sits quietly, Quaker style, to see. Without that moment, almost every “legacy plan” lands on “more money,” “more control,” more more more. In that reflective moment, if the spirit moves, you hear fragments of parables, confused echos of a mother’s teaching, life experiences, scripture.
"The Confessions of the Hanged Man," a penny each. Come for the hanging, stay for the sermon.