Sunday, May 3, 2009

William H Gates Sr. ~ An Icon to follow

There are not many 83-year-olds who are on a social networking site and write blogs. But then, William H Gates is no ordinary octogenarian. The father of one of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates Sr. shares more than a name with his famous son. He shares the Microsoft co-founder’s keen intellect and passion for ideas.

Last week, Gates Senior released his book, Showing up for Life. It’s about issues that he says “he cares deeply about”. In a blog on The Huffington Post, he went on to explain why exactly, why now and why a book. “Some people have asked me why I decided to write this book. I’m now 83 years old, and I’ve had some pretty incredible experiences throughout my life. I also have a lot of ideas I feel strongly about. I had a long and satisfying career in law before taking on the greatest career challenge of all — to spend money wisely and well in order to improve the lives of people around the world. (Let me report that the upside of having brilliant bosses far outweighs the occasional awkwardness of calling your own son ‘boss’.)”
It’s a unique book — full of wisdom and practical advice derived from having led a full life."~Ashok Alexander, director of the India AIDS initiative of the Gates Foundation, is one of the few people in India who’ve had an advance copy of the book
The fullness of Gates Senior’s life includes more than fathering and raising Bill Junior. He was instrumental in setting up the $30-billion philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, having started it in his basement at home. Now, he serves as its co-chairperson.
The following statements will unwrap you as how Mr. Gates Sr. is looked at:
“I, along with a few others, were invited to visit the Gates Foundation. I met him then. A fine gentleman. I really liked him. I’m looking forward to reading his thoughts” ~ Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and co-chairman of Infosys Technologies, Bangalore, India.
Gates Senior is simply “quite an inspiring man”~ Ashok Alexander
“With an energetic son and daughter-in-law running the foundation, Gates Sr. could have put his feet up, and appreciated from a distance. But he has been involved hands on, because philanthropy is one of his personal core values, which is reflected in his book,” ~ Mrityunjay Athreya of Sampradaan, Indian Centre for Philanthropy
 Mr Gates Sr. shares his experiences from his life:
“There’s power in sharing stories…My dad, who dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support his family, didn’t live long enough to see how our story has unfolded. And, as I enter my mid’80s, I know that it’s likely I won’t see how life unfolds for my own grandchildren as they move beyond young adulthood. (But) I can at least help them to understand mine.”
“As a father, I never imagined that the argumentative, young boy who grew up in my house, eating my food and using my name would be my future employer. But that’s what happened."
“I believe in the combined power of men and women who ‘show up’ for the people they love and the causes they believe in. I’ve seen the power of public will to take on and surmount great challenges and I believe our society works better when people think less about ‘me and mine’ and more about ‘us and ours’.”
Source: TOI
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