vegetariantaxidermy wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:27 pm
There's quite a difference between being wealthy in a normal way and being a multi billionaire.
It's all "scale," though.
I've stood in an open field in which 4 million people were trying to live on less than $1 a day. I saw how they live. I've entered their homes, partaken of their hospitality and felt the vast sea of human suffering washing up against my feet.
To them, I AM the billionaire. I'm certainly in the 1% of the world's population...but when I go home, I'm an ordinary guy with an ordinary income. I can forgive myself if I'm selfish, because I can see others around me likewise being selfish, and they are at my scale. But the truth is that I own lots of stuff I don't need. I eat better than most of the world ever will, and sleep securely at night. Should they hate me for that?
I've also been to Hollywood. I've stayed with friends who are millionaires. But among their peers, they're totally ordinary. Now, they worked hard for what they got, took risks I wouldn't have with their own futures, and they managed to win. It's never occurred to me for a second to be jealous of them, though they have far more than I do. Would it make me righteous or better than them if I were jealous? Would it make me good if I wanted them to give me their stuff, or worse -- started to hate them just because they had stuff I didn't?
There's no point in having billions unless you do give most of it away, because it would be impossible to spend that amount just on yourself. As I said--they are hoarders.
I don't know if I'd call Bill and Melinda Gates "hoarders." At one time, they were the world's richest people, but nowadays they seem preoccupied with giving it away. Now, I'm sure they still live much better than I do, but I know for a fact they've done a ton of good...much more than I can do with my very average income. Why would I hate them?
No one does it on their own.
The Gates did. Nobody strong-armed them into anything, so far as I know. Bill was sharp, and made money inventing and selling things people really, really wanted to buy. We're communicating on one right now, as a matter of fact. So he became very successful. And now he's being very kind.
But here we are focusing on them. What about us? What about you and me? How much have we given to the relief of the underprivileged? And what on earth could ever justify our hatred?