Much has been said and written about the selfishness, greed and arrogance of the wealthy. You can’t turn on the news today without hearing about the latest corporate scandal, the workers who are being laid-off, the poor and disenfranchised or the victims of the powerful. The wealthy have always been a convenient target of criticism, dating all the way back to biblical times.
Not much is ever mentioned about some of the positive aspects of the wealthy companies and individuals. There are rarely news stories about all of the jobs created, the products and services provided or the good that comes from the hearts of the wealthy. This just doesn’t make for good news coverage and most viewers are probably more interested in hearing about the scandals.
I suspect that one reason some like to target the wealthy, is to avoid the issue of charity on their own part. It’s easy to say that the wealthy should be doing more, but that you are just barely getting by on your current income. For many Americans, the struggle to pay the bills is very real. But, it’s hardly a struggle for survival.
Leading by Example
The wealthiest people in the world (Americans, Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet) are planning to donate roughly 60 Billion dollars to charity! The money already donated by the Gates Foundation has resulted in record immunizations and practically wiped the plague of measles off the African continent. And now, they are focused on combating malaria. Add to this, the generous gifts of money and prestige, from Bono, Oprah, Jackie Chan, Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Paul McCartney and many others. You are starting to see what kinds of positive benefits wealth can have.
Wealthy and successful people usually have something in common; they were driven, focused, talented and resourceful enough to succeed. They probably got very lucky at some point. But, luck tends to favor those who are prepared and aware. So, we are very fortunate to have talented and sucessful people giving back to the world.
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you had millions or even billions of dollars? Would you enjoy a life of shameless luxury? Or, would you consider the needs of so many in the world who are less fortunate? What if you had a couple hundred dollars? This question is relevant at any income level, for most people of the world. We all seem to have our own sacred luxuries. We could always give more and do with less, if we choose.
If you have some fresh ideas for fighting poverty or providing relief, I would love to hear them. Please feel free to comment, for everyone’s benefit.