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$600 Billion Challenge

This month’s Fortune Magazine boasts the title the $600 Billion Challenge.  Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, set the goal: They are driving to get the super-rich, starting with the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, to pledge -- literally pledge -- at least 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes or at death.

Giving like this really intrigues.  The comments posted below the article show that people are of two minds of the situation.  Some comments to the article show people up in arms about spot-light giving and questioning how much good it will actually do.  Is this just one more way for the uber-rich to feel better about having so much money?  Well others are amazed at how generous The Gateses and Buffett are and how incredible it is that they are reaching out within their circle to encourage radical giving. 

Bill Gates regards the 50% as a "low bar" encouraging high participation. People, he thinks, may be drawn in by that proportion and then surprise themselves and find they are giving at higher levels. "This is about moving to a different realm," he thinks, and it will take time for everything to sort out.

I personally think this could be the start of something big.  Yes, people will be able to find a flaw in their plan but the fact that some of the world's riches families are sitting and having serious discussions about how to help others and how to spend their money wisely, amazes me.  This has the potential to challenge others to look at how they are spending and perhaps influence smaller scale giving.

I’m aware that even $600 billion probably cannot completely take away the worldwide ravages of disease, starvation, and poverty.  And, how will this money affect the personal choices people make to engage in risky behaviors that perpetuate ills like AIDS, crime, and drugs? How much social good can be sustained in countries where political corruption strangles democratic reform?  BUT it is a big step in the right direction and I see God moving in this. 

These are some of the questions the 400 richest families in America will be thinking about over the summer months.

It leaves us with a lot to think about also.  Where do we spend our money and our time?  I find it hard to hear about giving (even though I can’t even picture $600billion) and not look inwardly also.  What is God saying to each one of us about giving and global efforts.  We all have piece to play in the poverty story.  On asking others to give, Bill gates says, "no one ever said to me, 'We gave more than we should have.'"

You can read the full article on Fortune Magazine.

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