Friday, January 29, 2010

Who Knew Bill Gates Was So Selfish?

I love, love, love quotes and lil sayings. I have always loved listening to people speak and be able to back their thoughts/arguments with a cool quote or neat statistic followed by a quick mention of the person who said it or the source it was taken from. Unfortunately, my brain doesn't work that way and I am usually left jumbling up famous saying, having no clue who said it, when it was said or where I heard it. Sigh. It totally sucks.

Today I read this article on - how cool is this? Bill Gates and his wife (don't forget the wife!) are pledging $10 billion towards the fight of many illnesses and AIDS. Wow. I am blown away. I love hearing about the ridiculously wealthy who have no problem sharing their wealth with the world. This donation is estimated at being able to save nearly nine million lives! Giving $10 billion!! Saving nine million lives!!

So why do I think he's so selfish? I once saw an interview with President Bill Clinton, which had to do with a book that he had recently published titled "Giving." Basically it was a book encouraging the poor and rich, young and old to take up volunteerism and to give of their money to worthy causes. I can't remember (of course!) if it was his own quote or if he was quoting someone else, but he said that "Giving is one of the most selfish things anyone can do." Something like that. :)

He explained that the feeling you get from helping someone is greater than the feelings of those who have just been helped, that giving of yourself and money was selfish because you were benefiting more than those that were being helped. I couldn't agree more. I have walked thru a food pantry in Dallas and know what it's like to be truly thankful for the generosity of others. I have also been in a position to help others, granted I've never had $10 billion to give, but the two feelings really don't compare.

I want to always remember and crave that feeling - the feeling of just being nice to someone. Isabella told me last week that she wants to be a "hospital doctor" and she will keep "half of her money and give me the other half so that I can help the poor people." I loved that.

I don't need my kids the be the smartest, the neatest or the cutest. I just want them be "selfish" beings - kinda how Bill Gates is behaving these days.

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