This week’s blockbuster news is that the two richest men in the United States are teaming up to save the world. Warren Buffett stunned the smart crowd by deciding to pour $31 billion into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If you’d like to read more about this story or get an interesting take on it, take a look at today’s blog entry from Jim Hopkins of USA Today.You can read his blog post here I’d suggest that the most impressive thing that Buffett did was put true charity ahead of ego. By channeling his money into an existing foundation with a well-developed agenda, he ensured that more money gets to the people who need it.
At first glance, it could almost seem as if the now $60 billion endowment of the Gates Foundation is almost enough to match its big goals of fixing education and stopping worldwide epidemics. The reality though is that even with all of their influence and all of their money, they can’t fix all of the world’s problems.
They can’t solve all the world’s problems. Neither can you and I. Their money isn’t really enough. Neither is ours. They’re trying and we’re…ahem…I’ll get back to you on that.
It doesn’t take $60 billion or $60 million or maybe even $60,000 to make a difference. Sometimes it only takes time and effort and paying attention. There are millions of small businesses in America run by tens of millions of smart, energetic people. If each of us takes on one project for a school, a church, a scout troop, a homeless shelter, a hospice it can do as much good as a $31 billion donation. Government programs have proven time and again that money alone doesn’t solve problems. It takes wisdom, leadership, persistence, compassion and often common sense. The same qualities that help people succeed in running their own business.
Archibishop Fulton Sheen had a television show for many years. He was famous for saying “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Sounds like a plan to me. Your community will benefit but so will you.