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    The Gift That Keeps On Giving

    What do you give the person who seems to have everything? You give something that costs you little.

    What do you give the person who seems to have nothing? You give something that costs you much.

    That’s what Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and 65 other billionaires have decided to do. They’ve pledged to give half of their net worth to philanthropy.In June 2010, Buffet and Gates started the Giving Pledge where they challenge billionaires across the world to sign a pledge committing to give half of their money to charity during their lifetime. For Buffett, this focus on giving started when he was in his 20s studying wealthy industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan, and their prolific giving to science, arts and culture. (See Wall Street Journal article for more info.) Now that Buffett has long been established as a billionaire, he is doing the same. He and others are using their wealth to make a difference in every area of life across the world.They are leveraging the fruit of their talents to impact the world.They’ve realized that after a certain point, wealth and riches mean nothing if you can’t use it to help others who may be less fortunate.

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    Buffett and Gates’ initiative is admirable because they’ve made it a priority to lead others in giving. Specifically, they established themselves as ACEs, and you can do the same.

    Accountability – They challenged other billionaires to be accountable to each other on how they use their wealth. You can identify others who, like you, have an abundance of resources. This shouldn’t be hard, because like attracts like. The people who are your closest friends, with whom you have the most in common, probably have similar resources. Challenge them, hold them accountable to use those resources to make a difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate.

    Change – They believe that their wealth can create change for the good. What unfortunate situations seem to pierce your heart the most?  Is it poverty, sickness, children who lack the benefit of music, art or sports in their educational system? These issues weigh on your spirit for a reason; so that you can do something to make a difference in that arena, using your resources to bring about change.

    Expectation – They created an expectation that their giving makes a difference in the future of others. You too can expect that your gift will change the lives and environment of others. You can create your own self-fulfilling prophecy that you expect good results from your investment.

    Since very few of us are billionaires, does that mean that we can’t have an impact in the world?  Does that mean that we can’t use our comparably limited assets to help others?  We each have an abundance of resources in the form of our time, our talent or our treasures which we can give freely to others.

    • Our time represents what we value most.  Take a look at how a man or woman spends their time each day, and you’ll know what’s most important to them.
    • Our talent represents the abilities, skills and knowledge we possess that we can share with others. Freely sharing our talent will reduce expenses and costs to others.
    • Our treasure represents financial resources that we’ve earned or inherited that can fund the good works of others.

    One person’s time, another’s talent, and yet another’s treasures all working together are essential to improve the lives of people on every continent. So don’t wait for the government or someone else to allocate resources to a problem, or to make it a priority. Determine how you can make a difference. Determine how you can lead others to give extraordinary things in extraordinary ways.

    “We have a choice. We can make our kids billionaires and it will ruin them. Or we can realize how blessed we are and try to spread those blessings around. My view has always been that success unshared is failure.”John Paul DeJoria, founder of the Paul Mitchell hair-products empire who grew up homeless. (The Biggest Gift In The World, WSJ Magazine, November 2011, p. 104)

    “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”(2 Corinthians 9:6-8) King James Study Bible

    Copyright 2011 Priscilla Archangel

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