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Why Bill Gates Gives Away Money

Popularity 1Viewed 739 times 2019-6-7 03:50 |System category:Life

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and most American billionaires have committed themselves to giving away 90% or more of their money in their lifetime. When asked why he would give away his money, Gates replied, "The pursuit in life is not about money. It is about making a difference in the lives of others and making an impact on humanity." This is why he travels to impoverished regions of the world and directly gets involved in the lives of the less fortunate.

Charity (donating money) is a tradition in America. Today, most people only see the actions of people like Donald Trump instead of the heart and actions of most wealthy and average Americans. In fact, the Independent, a publication of the U.K., recently reported on the world's most generous nations. It said, "Charitable giving by individuals as a percentage of GDP in America was recorded at 1.44%, in New Zealand at 0.79%, in Canada at .77% and in the UK – which came fourth globally – at 0.54%." These four nations topped out the most charitable nations in the world.

The great industrialist of the 20th Century, Andrew Carnegie, set his aim early in life. He boldly stated that, "I will spend the first half of my life making money. I will spend the last half of my life giving it away." He did exactly that. After selling his steel company to J.P. Morgan, he built free libraries all over America. In fact, in my small hometown of Sherman, Texas, the old library proudly displays the engraved cornerstone honoring Mr. Carnegie for his contribution and charity. Before he died, he had built thousands of libraries for the loaning of free books to people of every economic status.

Most of the great learning institutions like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and most others, were built from the generosity of wealthy individuals. A Chinese student that I once taught and helped get into Princeton University, discovered something that is widely known in America. Even though she was told that she could never attend such a university, she is now in her 4th year at Princeton and has gone there for free. She won scholarships to pay for her college education. 

American universities try to attract the best students because they don't pursue money from students. Most of their money comes from endowments which are built by substantial donations from companies like Microsoft, Apple, General Motors, Ford, Exxon/Mobil Oil and thousands of others who generously support these schools.

So, why does Bill Gates and others give away billions of dollars?

Americans feel a deep sense of gratitude for the many blessings they have experienced. I personally know a man who grew up quite poor. He wore hand-me-down clothes from older brothers and sisters when growing up. In his life, he has built a fortune in the construction business. I visited him a few years ago and found out that he had given away more than $1 million a year for the past 20 years to help poor people in Mexico. Not only does he give his money to help them, but, he goes there to help them build homes, churches and businesses.

More than 60% of the food that is shipped down the Mississippi River in America is sent abroad to feed people of many nations. The shipments are sold at a loss. The farmers are subsidized by the U.S. government.

Why do Gates and others give away their money? The answer is simple. Gratitude for the opportunities given to them to be able to acquire such wealth in the first place.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report kevinruud 2019-6-8 10:20
Chinese people live in a sciety where money and only money is the mark of success, and they will give their money to their children even their children are stupid.

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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