Bill and Melinda Gates; Miracles

On Sunday I attended graduation for Stanford University (a friend was receiving her PhD) and heard Bill and Melinda Gates address the graduates. It was a remarkably inspiring speech. Bill started by talking about his appreciation of optimism. He said that he started out his career with great optimism for how computers and software could transform society. But this optimism itself was radically changed as he encountered (in 1997) poverty in Soweto, South Africa. Melinda shared her own encounter with death and poverty in India. It seemed that these experiences really shook them, forcing them to reevaluate their optimism and ultimately to apply it to problems deeper and more intractable than the digital divide–problems like the stigma of AIDS, malaria, drug-resistant TB. The two of them challenged the graduates to seek exposure to deeper problems and apply their optimism and genius to deeper problems.

I was grateful for the talk, and I thought myself how lacking in optimism I am. If you had told me 20 years ago that Bill Gates would give such a talk to Stanford University, I would not have credited you. The richest man in the world, known for his rapacious business instincts? Didn’t Jesus say something about camels and the eye of the needle? But as Jesus also said in that context, anything is possible with God.

Here is the transcript…

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One Response to “Bill and Melinda Gates; Miracles”

  1. Ray Says:

    The serious question is will they do any good?
    For all the money and brain power we hav given to the poor, they are still poor and in many cases worse off.
    They must learn to solve their own problems. Others cannot do that!

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