Sunday, June 25, 2006

Give It Away!

The world of philanthropy just have a second tremor - days after the world's richest man, Bill Gates announced that he would be taking up philanthropy full-time, the second-richest man, Warren Buffet announced he would be giving away his share of Berkshire stock to charities (especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) starting now. In doing so, he has reversed a long-standing disagreement with his now-late wife Susan, arguing that it was best for him to allow his money to compound at a high rate before giving to charity posthumously. I hope this is a start of more private giving to eliminate the ills that plague our world.

Interestingly both Gates and Buffet talk about how giving money is not only for others, it's actually also for the benefit of their kids. Here's Buffet in the Fortune article:
I still believe in the philosophy ... that a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.

May this be a phenomenon restricted to the super-wealthy, or will their example stir more of us to give to the needy around the world, rather than focusing on a consumption-driven lifestyle?

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