Maybe it’s something that only comes with age—but I am always looking for a touch of inspiration. Not really concerned if there is someone whispering “sugary sweet” (apologies for the food pun) in the background. I sat down today in search of a bit of positive encouragement-- and read cover-to-cover, the Washington Post. I am one of those who still love the hard copy of newsprint. Yes-will read it online, but love the hard copy. Coffee in the morning just does not taste the same without it.
Ok—in today’s world of challenges, one particular story caught my eye—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just received a “William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding” for their work in global health issues. The Washington Post article in itself was enough to prompt me to ask—what is it I give back? On reading further, the article tells of their $35 Billion philanthropy, which has, an almost overwhelming world health vision. Example: A vision of eliminating polio. Much of their work has helped reduce childhood deaths from 20 million in 1960 to 8.8 million by 2009. The reality that “8.8 million child deaths per year” is a smaller number is instantly sobering. For someone who could have rested on his laurels after the visionary creation of Microsoft—I am inspired.
Even more so when I read on—the Gates and billionaire Warren Buffet this year challenged all wealthy individuals to give at least half of their worth to charity. I can hear the response now--“Easy for them”—they have lots to give away. But the fact that they have already had forty (40) signed up “so far”, is enough for me. It struck me that for those of us who are passionate about our “work”, love what we do--making a contribution to society doesn’t seem like a challenge. Such is the work of the present health IT situation—those working on the implementation of the HITECH Act likely feel like they are working full time and—volunteering--for the future of health care. This story gave me just that bit of someone else’s inspiration that can enable the rest of us to make a difference.