Bill Gates’ thoughts on why we don’t give more to charity: we don’t know what to do
Bill Gates’ graduation speech at Harvard is well worth reading. He uses it as a call to arms. As his mother said, "From those to whom much is given, much is expected." We all need to work on the world’s inequalities. In his opinion the biggest obstacle to giving is complexity, "To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact" and we can’t see the solution and when we do we don’t measure the impact. It’s not that we don’t want to help the dying children of the world – we just don’t know how to save them.
Market forces aren’t going to solve the world’s inequalities – we have to do it.
So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it. We asked: "How could the world let these children die?"
The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not
reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not
subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their
fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.
His advice is to spend a few hours every week learning about a problem, meeting others who want to fix it and working on solutions. So – go save the world!