Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Contract with the Earth 12: Charity

For my write-up today on A Contract with the Earth, by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple, I'll highlight a passage from pages 112-113:

"In 2005, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid out more than $1.4 billion to worthy recipients, mostly human health-related charities. Warren Buffett added $31 billion to the Gates Foundation to ensure that his money would be used effectively in an effort to enhance the world we live in. As he sat alongside Buffett, Bill Gates proclaimed 'there is no reason that we shouldn't be able to cure every one of those top twenty diseases.' Some of this new money may be allocated to support health-related environmental problem solving, as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made grants in 2006 and 2007 to support the Trust for Public Land, the United Nations Environmental Programme, and entrepreneurs developing innovative water technologies in countries such as Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Zambia."

As I read this passage, I thought about the parable in Luke 12 about the rich man who had a good crop one year and decided to store his crops and take it easy for many years to come. But, because he was not rich towards God, God took his life that very night.

I don't think it's wrong to desire financial security or to want to arrive at a state where one can take things easy. But, in my opinion, it's a waste to have a lot of money, and not to use at least some of that money to make the world a better place: to help find cures for diseases, to bring clean water to Third World areas, etc.

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