Friday, June 08, 2007

Embarrassment of The Riches

In a world where there are people who will never get to learn about basic math, let alone more complex things, it can seem embarrassing that we have places like Harvard University. In America we shouldn't be ashamed that we've reached a place where we have scores of top-tier University's. That is the benefit of economic success: the betterment of yourself and your progeny. But, after so many generations of success, we need to begin to use our acquired wealth and knowledge to benefit the rest of the world.

And so it was that Bill Gates took the stage at his old school. All at once the richest man in the world, and the largest benefactor that the world have ever seen. Also, the most successful college drop-out of the 20th century. He was back at Harvard to get his degree, albeit 30 years late, but more importantly to give a speech to the graduates.

I've read a few wonderful speeches in my life time, usually from Presidents, Civil Rights leaders and the odd occasional football coach, but Gates steels the show. He has instant credibility, due to his philanthropy. He also took a surreptitious rout to global economic domination. Sure, his path started at the Nation's most prestigious University, but he left early to make his fortune on his own.

So there he stood at Harvard telling the nations best and brightest that they have to follow his lead and make a difference. That the faculty, staff and student body need to make conquering the worlds problems their quest. The need to take on poverty, hangar and gender inequity not because they can, but because they should.

Take the time to read his speech and I think you will be impressed as well. Now all Bill has to do is book time at Yale, Princeton, Stanford all the way down to Tallahassee Juco.


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