A gesture unlike anything i’ve seen before

Most of you probably have read the news that Warren Buffet has given the Gates foundation over 32 billion $, around 80% of his wealth to help and improve the charity work the foundation is involved in. I am just overwhelmed by the beauty of the gesture, not just because it is 32b $ but primarily because of the fact that for someone in that position, giving out more than half the life’s earnings, an empire, away as donation needs a lot of understanding, benevolence and thought.

Some might argue that when somebody has 40b $ as assets, it should be easy to give away 32b $. But in my opinion, that is one of the best philanthropic action i’ve seen in my short life till now. I personally respect Gates for the huge effort and involvement in the foundation and all the support he has provided to eradicate diseases in the different third world countries. I am glad to see that someone is willing to spend time, money and effort to accomplish this when even the respective governments are having a hard time to stay afloat.

Kudos to Buffet for the thought and i pray that the Gates foundation will make an impact and improve the overall human lifestyle, all over the world !

Here’s an excerpt from one of the articles i’ve read on the news. Read on.

Warren Buffett, 75, known as the Oracle of Omaha for his stock-picking ability, is a quintessential capitalist and the world’s second-richest man. He’s also no fan of greed, or of inherited wealth.

Rather than pass on his $44 billion fortune to his adult children, whom he notes are already quite well-off, Buffett announced Sunday that he is giving away the bulk of his assets to a foundation run by his friends, Bill and Melinda Gates. This will double the $1.5 billion that the world’s richest foundation spends annually — mostly on health and education programs.

The gift is notable in several ways.

First, its sheer size. The donation makes industrialist benefactors such as John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie look almost stingy and is rivaled only by the Gateses’ own gifts of $25.9 billion. Calculating the impact that money might have is impossible, but neither Buffett nor the Gateses think small. “There’s no reason we can’t cure the world’s 20 deadliest illnesses,” Bill Gates said Monday.

They might.

The gift also underscores a little-noticed trend: a renaissance in philanthropy. In 2004, the latest year for which data exist, the USA had 70,000 foundations — double the number a decade earlier. They gave away $33 billion.

But perhaps most striking is the way Buffett’s decision stands out in this greed-is-good era, in which, to cite one example of gross excess, the average pay for top hedge-fund managers last year exceeded $360 million.

To a large degree, of course, wealth-building — if not outright greed — is good. Before they gave away a dime, Buffett and Gates created jobs and raised people’s living standards by building spectacularly successful companies. But when should the wealth-building stop?

“I don’t believe in dynastic wealth,” Buffett has said, likening inherited wealth to choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold medal winners in the 2000 Olympics. That’s why he opposes efforts to repeal the estate tax, saying that without it, America would have an aristocracy based on inherited wealth instead of a meritocracy that rewards ability and drive.

As Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, said in 1759 of generous capitalists, Buffett feels it’s in his self-interest to help others “though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.” Here’s hoping others heed the message.

One of life’s beautiful ironies

I would have been a millionaire by now if someone gave me a penny for every time someone says ‘Let me be smitten by a lightning, if i am lying’. But life’s little ironies come with a delightful recipe like the one i’ve quoted below.

DAPHNE, Ala. – Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm raged through Baldwin County.

Suddenly, lightning exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a pockmarked area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured.

“I said, ‘Amen,’ and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire,” she said. “I’m blessed to be alive.”

This one made me roll on the floor and laugh out loud, literally. Aah. One man’s pain is another man’s pleasure, ain’t it ?

Breaking the silence

For all those eager souls who watch my blog regularly and the not so regular passer-by readers, i apologize. This was probably the longest break i’ve taken from blogging since i started doing it in June 2003.

Life has just been incredibly hectic and sometimes i just lose track of what i want to do with my life … I guess it is one of those researcher’s blocks but being at this as long as i’ve been, the experience has been mind bogglingly stressful. I can frankly say that i’ve never in my life worked as hard as i did in the past 3 months. The downside is that i did not end up with a lot of results as i expected but just an extra paragraph in my thesis.

I could ramble on for a longer time but hey, if you wanna hear it, bring on a Jack daniels and meet me at College station. Now, i wouldn’t say i am completely out of work these days but i definitely do have lesser amounts of it to do over the summer.

With this post as the new start, i should be posting regularly in the coming days about stuff that are interesting and hopefully you enjoy too ! So keep watchin’.