"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

January 22, 2015

Chapter Twelve: The Gentle Art To Give (Life is What You Make It)

In this chapter, Buffett shares us his thooughts on Giving Back, with his own experiences.

Everything is connected.

We were born in this world, learning what's right and what is wrong. Finding what we like and the things we avoid. Exploring ourselves, obviously going in. Growing ourselves up. Absorbing the good, (hopefully) observing the bad.

In the end, we get what we want. Or what we think we want.

We feel fulfilled, yet we feel that there is actually something more.

Where are we going from now?

Until we realize that it's giving back we need to do.

Looking up, looking out. What can we give back to the society? To the world? How can we do that?

The easiest is, of course, money.
But giving back can't only be done with money. We can always give our time, our energy, our thoughts, things like that.
Being a mentor, for example. Writing for good, being in a project that constantly helps the society become better, etc.

But, ok, money.
Since most people overrate money, we love to call this activity differently. We call it Philanthropy.
Philo comes from Greek, means love. Anthropy is the same word from Anthropology, means human.
Literally, Philanthropy's meanins is not just an act of giving money.

On giving back, Buffett himself has had some remarkable (to him) experiences.

He admits that he has always been interested in the life of the Native Americans. He has read a lot about it, and decided to make a special music for them. At the same time, he was offered a marvelous chance to compose music for a miniseries titled "500 Nations".

Moreover, he wanted to make a life drama on Native American's life. He finally created it with some amazing people to work with. Being the music composer of the drama, he then realized that giving back requires the same amount of energy as taking, not less.

"Yes, giving ourselves is demanding... and risky. It requires us to open up, to show the world what we're made of, what we should give."

On 2006, he received an order from his father, Warren Buffett, to manage a billion dollars to be donated.
The question is, what would he do with the money?

Buffett and his wife, Jennifer then created a project named "NoVo" (which literally means Change, Adjust, or Find). Their approachings are to support people who know their own needs and find their own solutions; and to find something that is less-appreciated by the world, support, do not interfere, give time so that the world will acknowledge its value.

They found interesting answer: girls.

"The essence is the spirit that makes giving practical. And developing that spirit is what we all can do."

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