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Bill Gates’s “Most Gratifying Job on Earth”

Sep 12, 2011 by Sasha  |  Everyone is a Philanthropist

As a dynamic individual, you probably have many jobs in your life: you’re a mother, father, son or daughter. You might be a student, or teacher, an artist or a computer programmer. Out of all the roles you play and the jobs you do, which one’s your favorite?

In a recent blog post, Bill Gates wrote about his favorite job, and it’s not running Microsoft.

It’s being a philanthropist.

“I grew up in a family where giving back to society‚ whether through volunteer time or financial resources‚ was just part of what you did,” says Gates.

Sure, many of us can scoff about how easy it is for Gates to be a philanthropist when he’s the richest man in America, but his reasons for why he gives are values that we can all relate to.

“At the end of the day, what draws people to philanthropy is something universal‚Äîthe connection to other human beings and the desire to make a difference. This is what tugs at people and that makes them want to get involved, to imagine how they can help create a better world. “

Many people talk about philanthropy as a way to connect to others and “help create a better world”, but Gates takes it a step further when goes on to say, “For me, philanthropy is a responsibility, a passion, and an honor,” (my emphasis).

I’d like to commend Gates for understanding that giving back is more than just something he does because his parents did it or because he has a desire to make a difference, but because it is a personal responsibility that he has to the rest of the world, where 1.4 billion people live at or below the poverty line of $1.25 a day.

What are your reasons for giving? Do you see it as a personal responsibility?

Photo courtesy of http://www.OnInnovation.com


Sasha Feldstein is a program associate in the education and community engagement department at AJWS, where she manages WhereDoYouGive.org. Aside from wanting to be and play outside all of the time, she is interested in radical reconceptualizations of ancient traditions and in deeply exploring why we give, where we give, how we give and what it means to define giving tzedakah as pursuing justice. Sasha can be reached at sfeldstein@ajws.org.

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