Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, announced over the weekend he was giving Bill Gates’ foundation $31 billion dollars, thus creating a charitable buffet like no other in history.
With $61 billion dollars in the till, the Gates Foundation will be able to do even more good in the fight to cure health and humanity issues the world over by creating a deeper dedication to healing the immense suffering in the urban human core and in bringing hope and satiety to smaller rural communities in Africa and Asia.
With the Buffett buffet, Bill Gates now has more international power and influence than he does at Microsoft alone.
The immense size of the assets at the disposal of the Gates
Foundation as a result of the partnership is apparent when compared
with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, or Unesco, which had a budget of $610 million for
2004-05. The Gates Foundation made $1.36 billion in grant payments in
2005; at a minimum, Mr. Buffett’s contribution may eventually allow the
foundation to more than double that amount annually once he transfers
all of his stock.
There are some who wonder why Buffett would let Gates eat his charitable buffet.
Why, they ask, did Buffett not start his own foundation?
Why double the Gates money when the Gates money was doing just fine on its own?
The glory doesn’t matter. Only the deed matters. The deed is in the giving.
That answer can be hard to understand if you were not born and raised in the Midwest.
There are certain values
there that require a lack of ego and a certain amount of “fitting in”
even if you are worth $40 billion dollars. Warren Buffett lives in a
modest home in Omaha. He isn’t flashy. He is less than fancy. Warren
Buffett is a hard worker. He values dedication and commitment to
purpose. You put your money where your mouth is and so will he and
that’s just what happened. Gates started his foundation and made it a
great success. Bill Gates proved to himself, to the world at large, and
to Warren Buffett in the specific, that his muscle and humanity were
not merely relegated to software and computers.
Bill Gates has a world
view above technology. True and verifiable visionaries like Bill Gates
are rare in a lifetime and Warren Buffett knows that and when genius is
able to not only recognize genius in others, but honor it and celebrate it beyond the self, you have what happened over the weekend: A $30 billion dollar investment in believing and in faith and in giving of the whole of you over to a greater manâ€™s dreams.