impressions on my mind coasting through life's journey...

One man's acquistion, another man's charity

I was struck by this headline on dnaindia. That while Mittal has finally acquired the number 2 in his industry by increasing his offer by 40%, the combined annual turnover of Arcelor Mittal is roughly the same amount Messrs Buffet & Gates are giving away to charity. The amount is bigger than the GDP of Bangladesh and Kuwait, and a tenth of India’s. Let's take a moment to digest this and ponder, in this dog eat dog world, one really needs to pause and think how can one individual give away 85% of this fortune. What feelings and emotions could prompt such a decision. Already the Gates foundation has given more than the other foundations such as Rockerfeller etc.
And for Buffet to give to them only shows the confidence of benefactor that his funds will be put to the right use. Buffet remarked that with these kind of funds it was possible to wipe out the top 10 diseases of the world.

While all this wonderful, it has however sparked a debate atleast the desi blogsphere as to whether the charity which betters the lives of people is better then giving it too a religious institution as done by Amitabh Bachchan. As rightly pointed out by Pat, it is Big B's millions and he reserves the right to spend them as he pleases, it would be wrong to look down upon any form of charity as it would mean passing judgement over one kind of giving versus the other however much you disagree with it.

Jim Pinto takes the argument in another direction, when he asks should we give because we feel we are obligated to give?
"The old adage—charity begins at home—is a good starting point. Does that mean just your immediate family, or should it include relatives and their extended dependents? Should you give more to the ones in need, or distribute your largesse evenly?

And where is home? Is it my neighborhood, or the huddled homeless in the seedy part of town? Should I help the earthquake victims in El Salvador first, because they are nearer to where I live now? Or should my first allegiance be to the Indians in Ahmedabad because of my origin? If I can afford it, why not help both? I'm supposed to give till it hurts. So, how much should I hurt?"

While that is one (extreme and rather cynical)end of the spectrum, you have the issue of tithing. As practised that you should give 10% of your income to God because you are nothing but a steward of God's bounty. And there have been debates galore whether tithing really works?
I guess the bottom line is whether you are
a) ready to give
b) decide whether its 10% of your income or 85% of your fortune OR
c) None of the above i.e. Do you even give?

That's some food for thought.

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