An Immense Act of Charity
Mr. Buffett had insisted that he would wait until his death to make a sizable charitable bequest, but he told Fortune that the death of his wife, Susan, in 2004, his admiration for the Gateses and his certainty about how to dispose of his wealth had caused him to "get going" now...As I wrote in a recent column for the Tribune & Georgian,
Fred P. Hochberg, dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy at the New School, which has a large nonprofit-management department, said Mr. Buffett's historic contribution to the Gates Foundation was in character. "It's egoless," he said. "Warren's name is not on the door."
Jesus taught that, “Not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).It is Buffet's trust in his relationship with Gates that opens up this unprecendented deal.
Jesus offers a way out, a way to have peace whether you have a lot or a little. Jesus answer is to realize that your life is not made up of the abundance of possessions.
Get the stuff you need. Take care of yourself and your family. But don’t bet your happiness or theirs on accumulating just the right stuff. Even if you get that whole living room you want from The Pottery or the bedroom set that would put the Dream House to shame, it will not bring you happiness. Stuff is just stuff.
Right now, as at the end of your days, what matters more than stuffs is relationships. Making peace with yourself. Working on relationships with family and friends. And yes, most importantly, making room for your relationship with God. These are investments of your time, energy and money that pay off.
Work on these relationships rather than amassing possessions. These relationships with family, friends and God will pay off whether your life becomes a financial success or not. For life consists of much more than the abundance of possessions.
This is, by the way, an areligious story. The Gates Foundation does not work with religious groups or causes. However, it certainly has a track record of looking out for the poor and the outcast, which as I recall were pretty high on Jesus' To Do List for each of us.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church
PS: In the archives is a religion column on our largest philanthropist locally, Warren Bailey and how well St. Mary United Methodist Church handled his multi-million dollar bequest: Church's generosity is inspiring.