Productivity & New Work Bill Gates‘ Essay für die Abschlussklasse 2017 können wir uns alle zu Herzen nehmen

Bill Gates‘ Essay für die Abschlussklasse 2017 können wir uns alle zu Herzen nehmen

Another thing I wish I had understood much earlier is what true inequity looks like. I did not see it up close until my late 30s, when Melinda and I took our first trip to Africa. We were shocked by what we saw. When we came back, we began learning more. It blew our minds that millions of children there were dying from diseases that no one in rich countries even worried about. We thought it was the most unjust thing in the world. We realized we couldn’t wait to get involved—we had to start giving back right away.

You know much more than I did when I was your age. Technology lets you see problems in ways my friends and I never could, and it empowers you to help in ways we never could. You can start fighting inequity sooner, whether it is in your own community or in a country halfway around the world.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self. Melinda does that for me, and I am a better person for it. Like our good friend Warren Buffett, I measure my happiness by whether people close to me are happy and love me, and by the difference I make in other people’s lives.

If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be a copy of  “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker. After several years of studying, you may not exactly be itching to read a 700-page book. But please put this one on your reading list to get to someday. It is the most inspiring book I have ever read.

Pinker makes a persuasive argument that the world is getting better, that we are living in the most peaceful time in human history. This can be a hard case to make, especially now. When you tell people the world is improving, they often look at you like you’re either naive or crazy.

But it’s true. And once you understand it, you start to see the world differently. If you think things are getting better, then you want to know what’s working so you can accelerate the progress and spread it to more people and places.

It doesn’t mean you ignore the serious problems we face. It just means you believe they can be solved, and you’re moved to act on that belief.

This is the core of my worldview. It sustains me in tough times and is the reason I still love my philanthropic work after more than 17 years. I think it can do the same for you.

Good luck to all of you. This is an amazing time to be alive. I hope you make the most of it.“

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