With the accessibility of information these days, it’s apparent a new sharing, ethical high ground is being embraced by some of society’s ‘big fish.’ At a time when the US Republican presidential hopefuls are being publically seen as greedy tax dodgers, it’s refreshing to see a dialogue emerging in the media and elsewhere about the latest craze: Giving. A little over a year ago it emerged that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett had begun a drive to get America’s wealthiest to sign up to their ‘giving pledge‘ – effectively agreeing to give away half of their fortunes before they die. The program has snowballed and is a prescient view of how we, even without that kind of money, should approach living.
Of course it’s easy to say ‘well these guys have more than enough – it’s just closet clearing’ – but I think the spirit of this enterprise runs much deeper. Perhaps, the advances in technology are helping to set, or realign a moral yardstick that was easy to forego even a decade ago. That isn’t to say that that this new breed of philanthropist is just doing this as a publicity stunt, but rather a public affirmation of what’s important.
The 2008 recession has (hopefully) awakened a need for everyone to stand back and assess the notion of ‘more is more.’ This idea, that has been running through the globe since the dawn of the industrial revolution, is hopefully being altered, becoming something like ‘enough is enough,’ instead. Everyone likes money, that’s fine and understandable, but is it really the destination, the goal or prize, we often make it to be? More should be made of the intangible things in life, like the feeling you get when spring finally arrives. Now, if we could just bottle that feeling – we’d all be wealthy.