This article is based on a talk by Nipun Mehta at InspirEd in Mumbai, Dec 2012. Nipun is the founder of ServiceSpace.org, a nonprofit that works at the intersection of gift-economy, technology and volunteerism. His popular TED talk Designing for Generosity provides an overview of their work and guiding principles.
It is NOT fair to say Bill Gates used ONLY the power of money to change the world. Love is what moves money to the right and human direction. How many rich people this world have? Where are they from what the Gates are doing?
Mother Theresa was once asked by a reporter why she didn't try to change the political system in India rather than perpetuate it with her charity. Her answer was so simple and I never forgot it. "That's not my job." I think each of us has a role. We can't do it all but whatever we are personally suppose to do may we each do it with the most Love we can spare...
Javed Akhtar has a lovely poem where he expresses the sentiment that he dare not ask Mother Teresa the question of why she never questions the system that keeps perpetuating the poverty when she accepts the donations from the leaders (such as Bill Gates) of the system that condemns so much of humanity for so long to such abject and inhumane poverty. The poet concludes that he dare not ask such a question for by asking it he will have to assume responsibility for his own role in the system. To walk and trample others or to not walk and be trampled..... such are the choices that so many of our modern systems confine us to.
Nice article. But, I don't understand the human need to compare, judge, classify, analyze and finally try and reduce down to a factoid or truth that is then expected to be unassailable.How do you measure impact objectively that every living being, atleast sentient beings can all sign off. Therefore, celebrate everything and be inspired by all those unknown, unsung heroes each of us encounter in our lives- if we only learn to look and learn.
If we dig deeper, we can find many negative points to worry about both Gates and yes Mother Theresa as well (Christopher Hitchens et al). I like Ana's views on this as well.
Both r great in my eyes&mind, but it is in different way, one was mainly for religious site, also so kind hearted her contribution for each person of the world, Another one is richest one also mankind oriented, i appreciate him in this regard, i m from bangladesh in asia, i m a social worker, i m sending him my web links, i m asking him for share with my little works, also m asking him to pay a visit my country, my works,http://www.helpingothers.cl...,
Bill Gates is a firm believer in eugenics. This is why he is pushing toxic vaccines in third world countries... he is no humanitarian. Sorry for the not-so-positive comment, but I don't like giving credit to people who mean the entire globe harm. I've read some horror stories about Mother Theresa, as well. But, I agree. We should all strive to make the world a better place. Thanks for sharing!
We are encouraged to leave this world just a little bit better than we found it. We are taught to leave the wood pile just a little bit bigger than we found it. I thank Bill and his wife for caring enough to share and leave this world just a little bit better.
Here's a good article that puts some balance into the Mother Teresa myth. I've spent some time in Calcutta and also found she is not a popular figure there.
I'm sure Bill Gates is no saint either, but at least some of the benefits of his work are visible among the criticisms. But the main point is that the author's walking pilgrimage across India is a great story! Always best to stick to what you know.
I read the walking pilgrimage and found it quite inspiring. But I think the mention of Mother Teresa is seriously misplaced. Her idea of love was that the people at her centres would find Jesus through suffering. Although they have changed since her death, she didn't even give them anti-malarials, and the vast donations were spent either on opening new centres that worked the same way at negligible cost or filling the coffers of Rome. When people offered to donate stuff that wasn't hard cash, they were generally refused. This has been documented in a number of books (for instance,
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice), and admittedly some of them are anti-Catholic, but the data and reference material available as proof is mostly incontrovertible. With regards Bill Gates, I am sure his philanthropy started to improve his image (which was very poor at the time) and he was maybe tiring of Microsoft. But love him or hate him, the protocols he has set up for dispensing funds are carefully data-led. This means that charities are held very accountable (most charities in the world are not) and that funds - for instance to fight aids - are not hedged with religious paraphernalia such as GW Bush's disastrous funds-with-strings that prevented countries accepting help unless they promoted abstinence over condom use.
I am a great fan of dailygood.org, but tossing 'feelgood' names in the mix without first knowing the facts could considerably erode its credibility and effectiveness.[Hide Full Comment]
both of them did a great job in transforming the world. The inventions of Bill Gates help us cope with the world today and the compassion of Mother Teresa help us treat each other fairly. We need to emulate both of them instead of taking sides.
I hate the fact that they're comparing how good two fantastic people are...why! They both serve as icons for people of different positions in life that serve others in their own way. Mother Theresa gave all of herself to care for others. She was awesome. Bill Gates and his wife are fantastic people...how many rich guys genuinely care and spend so much time helping others and such a massive scale? Even if it were true that Gates had some agenda to push GMOs, vaccines, and Monsanto, many people don't consider this immoral. It's not like he is supporting Hitler and the genocide of the Children of Israel...so back off and grow up.
Actually its debatable over whether Mother Teresa actually did that much good, check out these two articles: http://www.patheos.com/blog...
http://motherteresawasafrau... As for the Bill Gates argument, the only thing he has ever said in regards to population control (as far as I'm aware) is that “The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” To me this simply suggests that naturally, as health care and reproductive services improve, the birth rate will decrease. I don't see it as a reason for mass hysteria and a reason to call him evil. I was once a believer in conspiracy theories and I would like to stress the importance of checking out both sides of an argument before you come to any conclusions. If you really want to know if Gates is a good person or not, read both the good and the bad things people have to say about him, then make up your mind.
I prefer to think that Bill Gates has both love and money.
Inspiring Article. One of my favorite quote I read in an elevator in the hospital many years ago is "Smile, it does not cost you anything, but you might get one back." Power of Love can grow exponentially.
Bill Melinda Gates foundation is following the footsteps of Rockfeller foundation (promoters of CGIAR & Syngenta - which controls - world's agriculture in many ways; Syngenta - GM seed co.). Bill Melinda Gates foundation has alloted significant portions of their so called "philanthropy" funds towards GM/GE propagation in Africa along with Rockefeller foundation and their Agriculture lending banks in Kenya and thru CGIAR arms also with Syngenta (a GM Seeds co.)
After 75 years of so called "philanthropy" the funds of Rockefeller foundation has not decreased a bit and ensured a luxury life and government patronage for the entire John-D familytree for many generations. Bill Gates' idea of "philanthropy" is no wonder similar - people simply got carried away by few peanuts given by him for Malaria, poverty aliviation - actual agenda is something else. The foundation invests heavily into the stocks of Bio-Technology firms...
I'm an Organic farmer for the past 4 years - formally I was a Wealth mangement technology guy - thus I have a good inside view of both.[Hide Full Comment]
Thank you for this Wonderful and inspiring article. May we all strive to be of service and to share whatever gift we have been given. Compassion Quotient is Imperative. Live by LOVE, indeed; it has positively impacted my life in ways beyond expressing. In 2005, I sold my home and possessions to create/facilitate a volunteer literacy project in Belize, I've donated programs for 33,340 students & trained 800 teachers to use their own indigenous stories in schools. This year the program is invited to Kenya, Ghana and India, I will go. I'm working hard to raise the funds, I am not sure How it will work out, but I have faith it Will because my goal is to build bridges between cultures, foster understanding and Compassion through our stories. I work often with children, they teach me more than I've ever taught them. We would do well to listen to children more for solutions to world problems and to see REAL compassion.
I also share FREE HUGS worldwide, the connections that occur in moment of embrace are powerful, deep and life altering. Thank you for remind us how important LOVE and Compassion are. HUG and <3, Kristin[Hide Full Comment]
Both charitable giving and loving are good. indeed, sharing money is a form of love. Jesus spoke about it a lot. 2nd only to describing the empire of God, money (and our relationship to it) was the subject that Jesus spoke about most!
Another worthy dynamic to consider is the alleged "justice vs. charity" matter. See: http://www.patheos.com/blog...
I wholeheartedly agree with Lisa, bad spelling or not. Bill Gates is handing out Monsanto nonreproductive genetically modified seeds (Frankinseeds) to millions around the world in the name of charity. Next planting season there will be no seeds to plant from this year's crop.
This is not coming from a place of love.
I have to admit I almost didn't open the article because Bill Gates name was in the heading, but I did and am so elated about the opportunity to embrace the amazing stories highlighted in the piece. I am also in total agreement with Lisa and her sentiments, and my perspective is that the Gates Foundation is in constant conflict with and embraces degrading reform and 'grant' practices toward public education teachers and our efforts to address the needs of all children in our care. And, his GMO ideas have made their way into the foods that are sacred to many of the indigenous peoples around the world, threatening the health of these precious bodies and souls, all in the name of 'progress' by inserting genetics for increased 'nutritional value' and implied 'increased yield'-in essence polluting an entire way of life.
This is a great article. It opens our eyes to possibility. It's unfortunate that we are compelled to judge and condem the efforts of others when they do not line up with our own beliefs. So many people are helped by efforts we do not agree with. There will never be a time when we get it perfect so we should always be thankful that people at least try.
Very touching. All this leaves us with a sense of confidence and hope for Humanity.
Nipun, I enjoyed your article today. It reminded me of how, in their later years, Mother Theresa and John D. Rockefeller looked very much alike, with deep lines in their weathered faces. The difference was that JDR's eyes were the eyes of a dead man: the richest man on earth had eyes with no life or vitality, only cold calculation. MT's eyes were alive and engaging, even tho she'd seen enough human suffering to drive anyone else mad. Who died richer?
Where I would give a tip of the hat to Gates, tho, is that he is looking for root causes of poverty, while MT would never touch that area. She would treat the poor, but never concerned herself with the structural causes of poverty.
And a final thought, the irony and the tragedy of so many institutional religions is that while the founders taught the law of love, in time the institutions are often taken over by lawyers and bureaucrats who practice a love of the law.
much credence is given to the relevance of that initial question posed
by the Indian industrialist. Taken to it's logical extreme, the
question could well be "Who has changed the world more: Adolf Hitler, or
It's absurd, of COURSE. The question to be contemplated by our
children /youth (or at least suggested for consideration by us) is WHAT
do you want to change. How MUCH is irrelevant, and as you see can
become quite absurd.
Too much credence is given to the relevance of that initial question posed by the indian industrialist. Taken to it's logical extreme, the question could well be "Who has changed the world more: Adolf Hitler, or Mother Teresa?"
It's absurd, of COURSE. The question to be contemplated by our children /youth (or at least suggested for consideration by us) is WHAT do you want to change. How MUCH is irrelevant, and as you see can become quite absurd.
Each of us has the opportunity to make a difference. Thank you for the article, Nipun. I enjoy reading your articles.
I agree with Lisa. Gates is into population control, not saving or helping humanity. Do the research and see.
Jobs had tumor in shape of his ear piece when he died..that is legacy they leave as accumulating wealth without accepting accountability is trashing planet, health, well being...Gates and Allen, Jobs are known because they supplied energy to the old paradigm of wealth making over all ...and the trajectory becomes nihilistic (M Meade) so too their legacy. Think about the press and who sponsors it, governments etc...waking to real values before there is nothing to save is the most important thing we can do, now before we really blow it as a species we can be so much more...how sad if we let the old paradigm define us.
Mother Teresa experienced 40 years
of darkness and doubt, yet she unwaveringly carried on her mission.
I am sorry to say this but Bill Gates promotes things that are distroying our invironment and the health of us and our children. GMO's, toxic vacines....Monsanto. He is saving alot of taxes on his giving indeavors yet human life should be at the front of his motivation that would be in the love of giving.
Bill and Melinda Gates were not inspired by compassion they might be like so many
other billionaires, including many in India who do not use their resources to
make a difference in this world. Compassion and thoughtful allocation of
resources can do enormous good. The world should be grateful that enormous
generosity of spirit and compassion are prompting Bill and Melinda Gates to use
their resources for the betterment of the people of our world.
Beautiful - and let's give Bill Gates credit - he is giving his money and energies from a place of love.
I disagree that Bill Gates doesn't use love too. His methods may differ, he combined heart and mind using the resources he understands to achieve far reaching results. God creates diversity, wouldn't the world be better served by avoiding the polarizing views this article uses to make a point. They each gave in a way that was amazing, I am grateful that these great souls came to serve life.