Most of us have at some time or the other dreamed of what we could do with a little extra money. And what if we came into more than extra money?
I read this article in Newsweek -Why I’m Giving Away $1 Billion by Peter G. Peterson -which is a good read. Peterson, at 81 found himself a billionaire. To quote the article - I began wondering: what do I do with $1 billion? The idea of trying to make the money grow felt empty to me. For my father, who saved or gave away so much of his modest income, the ultimate pejorative was "big spender." So buying a yacht was out of the question. I started looking at the lives of other billionaires. Almost all the ones I most admired were major philanthropists: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, George Soros, Eli Broad—each with a passion to do good, each getting so much pleasure from giving their money away.
He set up a Peter G. Peterson foundation and placed his 1 billion $ to it. And for those who wondered why he gave his billion away he has this interesting anecdote-
Kurt Vonnegut once told a story about seeing Joseph Heller at a wealthy hedge-fund manager's party at a beach house in the Hamptons. Casting his eye around the luxurious setting, Vonnegut said, "Joe, doesn't it bother you that this guy makes more in a day than you ever made from Catch-22?"
"No, not really," Heller said. "I have something that he doesn't have: I know the meaning of enough."
Peterson concludes that he has far more than enough.
So how much is enough. Not many can hope to be millionaires or anything close to that. We do lead fairly comfortable lives, but we can definitely do with some more. Maybe even if it was not for us, surely we could keep aside something for the children. Let them start life on a firm foundation. The list could be endless and it would not even seem selfish if we wanted to invest our money wisely. Are philanthropic deeds only for the wealthy? One need not wait to have far more than enough. There are times when nothing is ever enough. Yet, giving away a little of what we earn towards a good cause can give a lot of happiness. Try it.