Bill and Melinda Gates on TED: Self Actualization and Human Empathy

What do you do when you have enough money to live, eat, drink, be clothed and housed, have some leisure time and vacation money? Maybe you have a satisfying family life, spouse, and children, a good job and recognition for your talents and hard work, maybe enough money and time to engage in you hobbies and enjoy a little art, music, or other things you find beautiful. Maybe you “got it made“. You may not have as much “extra cash” to put it mildly, as a Bill Gates or the other nearly 1,700 billionaires in the world or even the 12 million millionaires around the globe.
When you have whatever level of cash and financial stability or freedom you are happy with… what next?

You give stuff to total strangers…
And you don’t have to have 76 billion like Bill Gates to help others you don’t know or will never meet.

Gates and his wife Melinda have set up a foundation that will eventually distribute 95% of his wealth (over 70 billion) through support to programs to eradicate disease, increase access to birth control, improve and provide education and a host of other projects. And others of the world’s wealthiest are joining in the philanthropy to an unprecedented degree. In case you are worried about Gates he will still have 3-4 billion left down the road, so we dont need to worry about his retirement ever being in jeopardy.

At the 4:00 mark, Melinda discusses the desire of women worldwide to have their reproductive rights.
What she’s heard from the women of the world, all over the world:
“I need that tool (birth control) to space the births of my children, and then I can feed them and have the chance to educate them.”
And 210 million women in the world wanted contraception but political controversy in the US (read religious) prevented them from getting it. Insanity.

The secular world can bypass the roadblocks of religion and politics.

At the 7 minute mark Bill chimes in with his explication of the dramatic graph displayed above him that shows the incredible results that vaccination and sanitation (mostly vaccination) has had on children dying before age 5 worldwide. The numbers are a testament to human invention and empathy distributed by tens of thousands, maybe millions of individuals to humans usually on the other side of the globe less fortunate and unknown.
Despite world population more than doubling in the last 50 years from 3 billion to over 7 billion, children who die before age 5 dropped from 50 million a year in 1960 to only 6 million in 2012.

Yes, when driven by ideologies; political or religious, that divide and dehumanize us, we are capable of killing 10’s of millions directly or condemning 10’s of millions to a life of oppression and/or poverty. Islamic rules for women, Catholic birth control prohibitions and the like, diminish, even destroy the lives of 100’s of millions of women and children all over the world, while the secular world, driven by reason and tolerance, enabled by science, unites us all as one species and attempts to alleviate suffering, increase education and personal freedom that transcends all unfounded and archaic religious ideas.

This is what we can emphasize, what we can exercise when we have our own needs covered: Normal human empathy and self-actualization.
Gates speaks for all of us at 23:00… “It’s the most fulfilling thing we’ve ever done”.





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