It put a smile on my face to see that Warren Buffet was going to be giving away a big chunk of his wealth. He is giving away about $37 billion dollars, which is about 85% of his wealth. Although, I know there are some cynics out there, and that is why I chose to write about this current event. First let’s break down one of the largest philantropic events ever.
30 billion of it is going to Bill Gates’ charity foundation. I did not know they were such good friends! The Gates foundation is a great charity, but it raises the question of whether this will give one man way too much charitable power. And obviously, Buffet is going to be a chairperson on the foundation’s board, so he will obviously have an influence and control on where his money is going.
The other 7 billion is going to children’s and grandchildren’s various charities of legitimate and worthy causes. So, the rest of it pretty much stays in the family, but let’s hope that these charities are reputable enough to make sure these funds get used properly.
These are probably the two main thoughts that are going through a cynical person’s head. However, I would like to think that Warren Buffet is a model citizen and someone to look up to when it comes to American icons. If there is anyone that you can learn from financially, it is him. Even with tons of wealth, his philosophy and foundation, and roots about how to handle money are everything that I believe in. And the fact that he is taking away some or most of the control of the empire he built, really makes me admire him more. Also, Buffett pays himself a salary of $100,000 from his investment company, and he still lives in the same house that he bought in 1958 in Omaha, Nebraska. (yeah, I know he has a second home in Laguna Beach and he is worth billions despite his “salary”, but you get my point). The man is unpretentious and very frugal.
This goes to show that the pursuit of earthly success and wealth is to set yourself up for the chance to change our world. The Gates foundation now has the ability to change the world in a positive away. The only concern is that the change truly is positive. Wealth is intended to be shared, and that should be what motivates young people to be successful and gain extreme amounts of wealth. The greatest joy we can experience is from giving, whether that is giving our time, money, or possessions.
If you want to have a six figure income or strike it rich with an entrepreneurial venture solely because you like the idea of owning fancy yachts and big houses, then you are in it for the wrong reasons. Regular people like Warren Buffet become extremely wealthy because their eyes are not on the flash and the glitter of wealth. They are in it to change lives and change the world they live in. That is what you can do with wealth, and that is why you should never feel guilty for being wealthy unless you hoard all of it.