Very little one would imagine but both are regarded as philanthropists.


Bill Gates

Bill Gates together with his buddy Paul Allen founded Microsoft, one of the forerunners of the modern day computer era, specialists in computer software development and the universally popular Windows and Microsoft Office products. Microsoft revolutionized the personal computer industry with their operating systems and office applications.  Of course they made a lot of money in the process, claiming top rankings as some of the richest men in the world. They broke through the millionaire barriers and joined the elite group of billionaires. Bill Gates stepped down from his full time position of CEO in 2000 but remained as chairman of Microsoft and formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. By 2008 he relinquished all full time work at Microsoft to pursue full time philanthropic endeavours at the Foundation. Bill Gates describes the work his foundation does, its funding, and when he sees the foundation terminating. He talks about his relationship with his children, his interpretation of the meaning of wealth and money and what legacy he wishes to leave for his children, some far reaching and radical, at least to the common person.

In December 2010, Gates, Warren Buffet (Business magnate and Gates long time friend) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) signed a promise to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over time. That’s a lot of money considering that these are people who are worth billions, Gates net worth in 2013 was estimated at over $70billion alone. In the video, Gates mentions that his foundation has $38billion of funds.

So how does this all work? Who are the beneficiaries, how are the funds deployed, are they achieving what they set out to achieve. There are lots of people with similar ideals and aspirations, yet the world is plagued with famine, starvation, a billion people with no access to drinkable water, wars and human rights abuse. What about the needs of their own citizens who are also lacking in many situations? It’s all so confusing and seemingly meaningless.

Gates advocates that his foundation has a lifespan and will cease to exist after 20 years or so after he disappears. So why form an organization that will fall over a cliff after a brief period in history. What about the bigger picture – the old maxim of teaching a man to fish.


Joel Osteen

Osteen succeeded his father in 1999, as pastor of Lakewood Church. He had only preached once in his life, the week before his father’s death. Lakewood Church services, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, are seen in over 100 nations.

Osteen claims that he is teaching people how to live their everyday life based on biblical principles.

Currently, Osteen and several Lakewood Church personnel travel across the US, presenting programs in large arenas. The event, titled “A Night of Hope”. In 2007, the tour expanded to include stops in several other countries, including Canada, England, Northern Ireland and Israel.

Like Billy Graham and many other evangelists, Joel is influencing millions of people across the world. The increase in media options transports the gospels directly into homes and the influence continues. In his hometown, congregations of 40000 are not unusual to attend his mass meetings.

Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin and is influencing people all over the world or at least that what we are led to understand.

So how does this all come together and how does it work?

Points to Ponder

  • Have people amassed so much wealth that they are aspiring for a super status and recognition?
  • Who are the real beneficiaries? Are the real problems of the world being addressed? Is this leading to a better world?
  • Is the world a better place, more civilized, safer, healthier? What is the role of governments and world leaders?
  • Why are there lockouts and shutdowns? Why do rich countries have unemployment?
  • Why are multinational companies exploiting the world, especially developing nations?
  • Why are there financial crisis?
  • Why are wars still brewing in the world?
  • Are we really civilized?
  • How could the world end up with a few men just about owning it and how do we escape from this stranglehold?
  • What happened to the power of the people?


So what do you think? Lets talk about it.

Images: Featured