After watching Bill Gates’ appearance on the ABC’s Q and A and reflecting on some of his work since leaving Microsoft, it dawns on me that he has become a much, much better person than his monopolising alter ego in the 1990s. The way his name was mentioned in the 1990s was always some form of curse to the heavens on the appearance of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death that maligned Windows 95, 98 and ME. But Windows and Office are much better now, more reliable, fluid and pleasing to the eye.
The interesting thing is that Bill Gates has definitely matured and mellowed, instead of creating controversy, he’s using his vast resources and time to help those who are less fortunate than him. It’s not just his money he’s divvying out to worthwhile projects, it’s studying the problems and helping to find practical solutions to disease and other issues that plague the poor. His is wide ranging work and it’s not just Africa that gets the benefit. Even the poor or disadvantaged in first world nations are getting his help and intellect.
This leads me to wonder, why is it only the properly rich outside of Australia (apart from Andrew Forrest) who are trying to improve the world? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the most famous who are pledging to give away at least half of their fortunes along with 103 of the world’s richest.
Now, I hardly have the financial resources to sponsor the development of brand new condom technology or special toilets, but what small amounts I do give to charity I hope does make a difference to somebody’s life in the poorest parts of the Earth.