The Giving Pledge

It’s a remarkable concept by some of the most remarkable people in the world.  The Giving Pledge is the brain child of Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates.The pledge asks the wealthiest people in the world to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes.While they encourage all of the worlds wealthy to give back and exercise philanthropy, to be a part of the elite giving pledge, there’s a catch.Requirements:  You have to be worth at least a billion dollars and you have to be willing to give away at least 50% of  The Gates vow to give 95% of their $79.2 billion while Buffet says he’ll part with 99% of his $66.7 billion.  Buffett says, “simply put with this exorbitant amount of money, holding onto it to amass more money does no one any good.  It serves no purpose.  It’s much better to help the greater good.”  Buffett is leaving his children little to nothing saying he feels he has taught them very good work ethics and they are doing well and accomplished in their own rights because of their upbringing and disciplined understanding of hard work. The Buffett offspring are said to be getting a teeny portion of Daddy Buffett’s billions.So far over a hundred billionaires from around the world have joined the pledge.  I find this utterly remarkable.  I think every little dollar counts and while most of us will never be worth a billion dollars, we can still do good deeds, charitable work, give back however we can.  Charitable is not just based on dollars.  There are all sorts of needs in this world.  There are organizations who can use volunteers to pitch in an hour or two a week to help promote their cause.  There are elderly neighbors that could use a ride or even just an ear or a friendly pop over to make sure they’re ok.  These little gestures go a long way.  We never know how grateful people are even for the small things.  It’s part of being human.  Helping out, giving back, pitching in.  We all owe it to one another.  Life really doesn’t take on shape and meaning until we start tapping into that part of ourselves that acts from that place of selflessness.  Looking at the world around us, our immediate little world and seeing if and how we can make it just a little bit better.  We are needed.  Need offers meaning.  We just have to find out how and where we can help.  There’s a little sweet dash of altruism in all of us.  This I know.For more on altruism

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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