Friday, July 29, 2011
The Giving Pledge
12:52 PM giving
Inspiring words from The Giving Pledge:
"More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by dollars, this commitment is large. In a comparative sense, though, many individuals give more to others every day.
Millions of people who regularly contribute to churches, schools, and other organizations thereby relinquish the use of funds that would otherwise benefit their own families. The dollars these people drop into a collection plate or give to United Way mean forgone movies, dinners out, or other personal pleasures. In contrast, my family and I will give up nothing we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge.
Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time. Many people, including -- I'm proud to say -- my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others. Gifts of this kind often prove far more valuable than money. A struggling child, befriended and nurtured by a caring mentor, receives a gift whose value far exceeds what can be bestowed by a check." -Warren Buffet
"I am the son of a plumber who practiced his trade in the South Bronx. I am the first generation American born in my family as well as the first to get a college degree. My education is largely public school based -- public grade school, high school and college all in the Bronx. I had a short stint at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business where I earned an MBA and this opened the door for me to Goldman Sachs. I joined the Firm the day after graduation as I had a National Defense Education Act Student Loan to repay, had no money in the bank, and a six month old child to support. I had a near 25 year run of happiness and good fortune at Goldman Sachs. The last 19 years at Omega have also been years of happiness and good fortune with a few bumps along the way. While I worked hard, I must say I had more than my share of good luck.
Toby and I feel it is our moral imperative to give others the opportunity to pursue the American Dream by sharing our financial success. The case for philanthropy has been stated by others in a most articulate way and in words that have impressed me: In the early 1900's Andrew Carnegie said “He who dies rich, dies disgraced.” In the 1930's, Sir Winston Churchill observed that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Well before all these gentlemen expressed their thoughts, it was written in the Talmud that “A man's net worth is measured not by what he earns but rather what he gives away.”" -Leon G. Cooperman
"My mother raised my brother and me in a European immigrant community in downtown Los Angeles. From the time I was two years old, it was just the three of us. We didn’t have very much, not even a TV; however, we did not realize that.
One Christmas, when I was six years old, my mother took us to see the window displays and decorations in the big department stores in downtown Los Angeles. It was a big treat for us. We saw puppets that moved and trains that circled... It was really special and added to the Christmas spirit, but it didn’t cost anything.
That same year, my mother gave my brother and me a dime. She told both of us to hold half of it and put it in thebucket near a man who was ringing a bell. We did, and then we asked my mother why we gave him the dime (at the time, a dime could buy you three candy bars or two soda pops). My mom’s reply was, “This is the Salvation Army that helps people who are really in need. Remember boys, no matter how much you have, there is always someone who is more in need than you. Always try to give, even if it is a little.” Needless to say, that stuck with me in my adult life.
Now my family and I have the privilege to help people and make the world a better place to live. This opportunity will not be passed up. Living is giving. I won’t deprive my family of knowing how good it feels to help those in need with some of the basics we already have…food, shelter, care and a future." -John Paul DeJoria
"Both of us were fortunate to grow up with parents who taught us some tremendously important values. Work hard. Show respect. Have a sense of humor. And if life happens to bless you with talent or treasure, you have a responsibility to use those gifts as well and as wisely as you possibly can. Now we hope to pass this example on to our own children." -Bill and Melinda Gates
"...the reality of great wealth is that you can't spend it and you can't take it with you. For decades, I've been committed to giving away the vast majority of my wealth to causes that I'm passionate about - and that my children are passionate about. And so I am enthusiastically taking the Giving Pledge, and nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation." -Michael R. Bloomberg
"The three problems that concern me the most are the threat of nuclear annihilation, climate change and the continuing growth of the world’s population. Sometimes these problems can seem overwhelming, and when they do, I remind myself of a conversation I had many years ago with Jacques Cousteau. I asked him if he ever got discouraged or worried that the problems he was working on were insurmountable. He looked at me and said, “Ted, it could be that these problems can’t be solved, but what can men of good conscience do but keep trying until the very end?” At that moment, his very words inspired me to want to do even more." -Ted Turner
"I was also informed by the great novelist, Kurt Vonnegut, who once told a story that seemed to capture my situation perfectly. He and Joseph Heller were at a party given by a wealthy hedge fund manager at his majestic beach house in the Hamptons, the summer playground on Long Island where the rich and famous congregate. Kurt and Joe both had made their marks by satirizing life’s absurdities – Kurt with best-selling novels like Slaughterhouse 5 and Breakfast of Champions, Joe with the incomparable Catch-22. During the course of the party, Kurt looked around at the surroundings and asked Heller: “Joe, doesn’t it bother you that this guy makes more in a day than you ever made from the worldwide sales of Cach-22?” Joe thought for a moment and then said, “No, not really. I have something that he doesn’t have.” “What could you possibly have that he doesn’t have?” Kurt asked. “I know the meaning of enough.” My father often said the same thing." -Peter G. Peterson