In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is Altruism the New Prada?

It seems that social consciousness is the new sensation that is sweeping the nation. Just a few weeks ago, Newsweek had a cover story entitled, "The Greening of America." The article highlighted several ways that architects, homeowners, consumers, and people like you and me are all making smarter choices for sustainability and the environment. Maybe these changes are being brought on by rising energy costs. People might not be thinking of the environment, but of their own pocketbooks. However, it was interesting to see all the creative ways that people are changing their lifestyles.

Also, the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, has announced that he is quitting his job at Microsoft to save the world. OK - he's not quitting completely, but he is investing more of his time and energy into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He wants to combat the ills of this world. This guy built himself an empire around Microsoft. He used his innovation to make Microsoft what it is. Now he's going to take that ability and turn it toward poverty, malaria, and other problems around the world. Wow. If anyone is poised to make a substantial difference, it really could be him.

AND...if that weren't enough. Another incredibly rich man, Warren Buffet, has decided that he is going to will his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's not going to pass his empire on to his kids (I'm sure they will get along OK without it). He's not even going to start his own foundation (often a monument to one's self). He decided that Bill Gates (and his foundation) is best positioned to make the world a better place.

Is this a new trend? Are people actually caring for one another? Are we thinking about the future in a new way? I really hope this isn't a trend. This is an attitude that we need to share with the world more often. Often, we feel like we can't do anything to change the world. So, we do nothing. Now, if people hear that people want to help the world, maybe it can encourage them to jump on the bandwagon.

To quote a beautiful (and gay) song: What have you done today to make you feel proud?


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