Mar 21 2011

There are 2 links at the bottom of this blog – they are to two great videos. I’ve shared one of these with friends, family and colleagues before. The second one is a TED video I just watched for the first time. I love these things because they always bring me back to reality, and put things back into perspective! I’m a capitalist, a consumer and in many respects, spoiled! I get most of what I want, my girls (including wife) get pretty much everything they want bar some of the more expensive things and we live in a society that generally does get whatever it wants, within reason. OK, we’re not all BG or WB (Bill Gates or Warren Buffett) but we are generally comfortable and do not have to worry about the basics of life.

I love these videos because they remind me that I have the basics – while hundreds or thousands of people are homeless in Japan due to the earthquake and Tsunami and millions of others are homeless just because they always have been, we in the west complain about not getting the latest gadget, or a new car or a new pair of jeans, shoes or earrings. I am not suggesting that we should go without all, or not pamper ourselves from time to time, but ours is a fortunate life, one that we were fortunate enough to be born into. I read “The Snowball” last year, the story of Warren Buffet and how he made his millions. What struck me more than anything was his thoughts about how lucky he was to be born in America. There are plenty of brilliant people all over the world, some work as scientists and others in economics, rocket engines, nuclear physics or whatever. But there are probably just as many that hunt for their food and live in grass huts, plenty that drag rocks out of the ground each day for someone else or weave blankets to sell to tourists or whatever. They were just not fortunate enough to be born in a country where education and a decent life were the norm. They were born into poverty and a complete lack of the infrastructure necessary to do something with their brilliance.

I’m not a philanthropist, I hope to one day have enough money to make some meaningful contribution to someone’s life (besides my wife & kids) and I am not suggesting that anyone should feel guilty for who they are or where they live or how they live. Just remember the next time you are complaining about how you can’t afford a new car, or are stuck with a local holiday instead of going abroad, that these things are so far out of the minds of millions of people, all they want to know is how are they going to feed their children tomorrow, or where are they going to get the money to catch the bus to get to work.

We live in a spoiled society – remember that not all are as fortunate as us – be thankful for what you have, primarily your health and believe it or not, your wealth! Watch these 2 videos – 4 minutes & 9 minutes – well worth the time if you can spare 15 minutes of your life to get it into perspective!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itn8TwFCO4M

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine.html

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