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A Reversal of Fortune

“What is the value of money if it cannot be used to raise the value of life?”

While researching this article, it was easy to find stores of those who started with virtually nothing and made great fortunes. But why do these types of articles abound while the ones featured in last week’s article (click here to read it) are not nearly as heralded? It is admirable for someone to rise up from nothing but those who have achieved it yet give it away for the sake of a better world, that is an even greater sacrifice.

For 2018, let’s continue with two more stories that ought to be receiving much more exposure and adoration. In 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates, along with Warren Buffet, started “The Giving Pledge”. They gathered 40 other billionaires to “publicly dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy”. Soon after, they traveled the world to get other affluent individuals to pledge the same.

To date, they have received over 170 pledges from the world’s wealthiest individuals, couples and families from 22 countries. It garners adults in their 30’s to those over the age of 90. Their mission is to focus on global issues and give to charitable causes to create a better planet while inspiring countless people in all income brackets.

Perhaps the most inspiring story is that of a man in his 80’s who pledged to give nearly all of his amassed, 8 billion dollar fortune to charitable causes. He was the founder of the Duty-Free shops in the airport and through a series of tactful investments, acquired his wealth. One of his more admirable qualities is his quest to be anonymous which was the condition of one of his first large donations. Although his name is easily found, I wish to respect his inclinations.

In 1984, he began Atlantic Philanthropies which self-describes its mission “to devote his wealth to the service of humanity. A champion of Giving While Living….” He strongly emphasizes the “people of wealth should use it to better the world during their lifetimes”. To date, the organization has given over 8 billion dollars; a higher percentage of wealth than any other person has given. He still remains an active part of his globally-reaching organization.

It is stories such as these which ought to be permeating the news headlines. For it is only through this type of effort that any semblance of “World Peace” can be achieved. If our efforts only bring about gain and pleasure for ours alone, that attitude promotes a culture of separation, mistrust, graft, and many other abuses.

Giving is an essential part of having. It shows gratitude for what we’ve achieved. The knowledge that no matter how much personal commitment we had, these goals were not achieved alone.

When we sincerely, and better yet, anonymously give to better our world, then the world will have been a better place for our being here. And that is a life worth living.

Thanks again and I look forward to your comments.

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