Sunday, August 2, 2009

Opening Gates of goodwill

I was standing in the terrace of a building in suburban Chennai, India, where my in-laws live. Pointing at the opposite hospital complex, my wife said: “This TB hospital has now been converted into an AIDS centre thanks to Bill Gates (BG).”
Where is Bill Gates and where is Tambaram? What’s the link! I found the answer. Goodwill and compassion.
Why this talk on BG? There’s a reason. Yesterday Saturday. The usual bookstall visit. And the usual picking up of books at random. What came in my hand was “Showing up for Life,” by Bill Gates Sr.
I glanced for three minutes when the phone call from my friend forced me to move on. But two quick vague notes I made to share with you.
BG Sr wrote about the value of human goodwill. He referred to Pablo Neruda, a Nobel poet of Chile. When Neruda was a child he used to play around a big wall separating his house from a neighbour’s. There was a hole. One day N pushed his hand through the hole, just to see another hand come through. He played along, but never got to see the other face. Next day, when he reached the spot, there was a doll gift. He picked it up, played with it and the succeeding day he placed his own gift. BG Sr highlights how the value of sharing without even knowing the other person brings such immense joy, even to a child.
He also wrote about fight against polio. He had seen the parental anguish caused by the crippling effects of polio. “I am hopeful that I'll live to see polio completely eradicated,” says the man in his eighties.
BG Sr’s says: I believe our society works better when people think less about "me and mine" and more about "us and ours."
Bill Gates Jr.. I am not amazed by your humility any more. You have it in your genes boss. Ask your dad.


  1. I know it is such a mixed bag. BG Jr and Microsoft's monopoly practices and then Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! Thanks for sharing Ramesh.

  2. The concept of windows and all the other break through softwares are actually about sharing too! This was a great piece of information.Thanks

  3. Teach your children your values and the deeds you've done in your life will multiply as it spreads down through the generations.

    The ideals a values that me great grandfather has is still very much alive today simply because what he taught his children has also been taught to the next generations. It's a wonderful gift to have and to live with. =)

  4. Isn't that wonderful. Children will follow our example. I want to wish you a very happy Friendship Day, my good friend. :) I hope life is good for you and it warms my heart to see you are finding the beauty and goodness in our world, as usual. Namaste

  5. Thankyou Ramesh...happy friendship day to you we had Satyanarayan puja at my home.......i will be back to you again...i will have your share of prasadam....thanks for being such a great friend.

  6. happy friendship day to you.

  7. I didn't know it was friendship day - so happy belated friendship day, dear friend.

    Great piece again. BTW, I just received a free coffee from the person in front of me in the drive through (darn, should have taken out lunch - grin). Paying forward is something I learned in Canada - it really makes your day - for the giver and the receiver - since we don't know anything about each - we can't even say thank you. We don't have to be BG&MG to do it in a smaller way, but it sure makes a difference.