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How We Fulfill Our Responsibility WHAT GOOD AM I DOING FOR THE WORLD?
Believe it or not, sometimes I have time to watch TV. I know it sounds impossible between running two offices and being a father of four, but there are moments when I can sit down and watch something that isn’t an animated singing animal. Even when I’m watching TV, I like to be learning something, which is why I really appreciate the growing documentary section on Netflix. Recently, I watched the new Bill Gates documentary that made me ask, “What good am I doing for the world?” The first episode of “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates” covers how Gates has devoted tons of time and money to improving waste management conditions in developing countries. Many areas suffer from epidemics of illness due to poor sanitation or hygiene maintenance. You may remember stories about how Bill Gates was saving the world by “reinventing” the toilet. Those catchy headlines don’t get to the heart of how beneficial the work really is. By creating more effective public toilets that improve the water supply in poorer villages, the amount of sewage is reduced. There are fewer mosquitoes, the water is safer, and fewer children die of preventable diseases. That’s doing good for the world. Watching “Inside Bill’s Brain” reminded me of my greatest goal in life: I want to help people. More specifically, I want to try to improve the quality of life for people less fortunate than myself through food, medical aid, and other resources. I might not be the second-richest man in the world with a global charity foundation in my name, but I know I have the power to make a difference. We all do.
We can’t make the world a better place if we aren’t making it better for everyone. When I think about what I want out of life, making things better is at the top of that list. I got into medicine because I wanted to help people. It’s been a great career that has allowed me to give a lot to my family. I want to acknowledge my blessings by helping those who haven’t had the same opportunities I’ve received. I was raised with the belief that if we have the ability to help others, then we have a responsibility to help others. It’s important to me that I raise my kids to share in this belief. My wife and I aim to teach our children not just to recognize their own blessings but also to understand that not everyone enjoys the same kind of comfort. There are people in the world who need a little extra help. If we can offer that help and don’t, what kind of people are we? If I had all the money in the world and didn’t have to work anymore, there would be plenty of time for fun. I’d take my wife skiing in the Alps and go golfing in the Bahamas. But I ask you, what kind of impact would that have on the world? It wouldn’t mean much if I had a way to help people and I didn’t. At the end of the day, life would seem pretty empty without trying to do some good in the world.
“I was raised with the belief that if we have the ability to help others, then we have a responsibility to help others.”
–Dr. Harrison Linsky
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