1. Don’t call someone more than twice continuously. If they don’t pick up your call that mean they have something more important to attend to.

2. When someone drops something on the floor by mistake or drops food from the plate or doesn’t know how to use a knife/fork don’t stare at them. The same goes to people sneezing, coughing or even an uncontrollable fart. It’s an involuntary reaction.

3. Always skip using the washroom beside the occupied one. It makes it uneasy for the person in the occupied washroom as well as yourself if you occupy the one right next to theirs.

4. Return money that you have borrowed even before the other person remembers lending it to you. Be it 1Rs or 100Rs. It shows your integrity and character. Same goes with umbrellas, pen, lunch boxes, books.

5. Never order the expensive dish on the menu when someone is treating you for lunch/dinner. If possible ask them to order their choice of food for you.

6. Don’t ask awkward questions like ‘Oh so you aren’t married yet?’ Or ‘Don’t you have kids’ or ‘Why didn’t you buy a house?’ For god’s sake it isn’t your problem.

7. Always open the door for the person coming behind you. Doesn’t matter if it is a guy or a girl. You don’t grow small by treating someone well in public.

8. If you take a taxi with a friend, and he/she pays now, you pay next time.

9. Respect different political opinions.

10. Don’t call people on the phone very late if it’s not really important.

11. Never interrupt people talking.

12. If you tease someone, and they don’t seem to enjoy it, stop it and never do it again.

13. Say “thank you” when someone is helping you.

14. Praise publicly. Criticize privately.

15. If you’re talking to someone and notice any of the following, they’re trying to end the conversation: Their eyes keep darting away. They angle their body away from you. They give you rapid one-word answers.

16. There’s almost never a reason to comment on someone’s weight. Just say, “You look fantastic.” If they want to talk about losing weight, they will.

17. If you’re getting a long flight or train, shower before. The person next to you will appreciate it.

18. When someone shows you a photo on their phone, don’t swipe left or right. You never know what’s next.

19. If a colleague tells you they have a doctors appointment, don’t ask what it’s for, just say hope you’re ok. If they want to talk about it they will and you don’t put them in the uncomfortable position of having to tell you their personal illness.

20. Treat the cleaner with the same respect as the CEO. Nobody is impressed at how rudely you can treat someone below you but people will notice if you treat them with respect.

21. If a person is speaking directly to you, staring at your phone is rude.

22. Never give advice until you’re asked

23. Do not make plans in front of those you are not involving.

24. Don’t talk to someone if they are wearing headphones.

25. When meeting someone after a long time, unless they want to talk about it, don’t ask them their age and salary.

26. When a friend/colleague offers you some food, you can politely say No. But, don’t do this after tasting or smelling it. It’s an insult to the one who has offered it to you

27. When someone starts talking about their ailments, don’t start talking about yours.

28. When someone you know has an obvious change in appearance, e.g., weight gain/loss, bald spot, acne. never comment on it until they talk about it to you, they already know what is happened to them.

29. Never kiss a baby that’s not yours.

30. Mind your own business unless anything involves you directly — just stay out of it.

31. Do not view every post on Facebook as an opportunity to argue/debate, even if does not conform to your views or beliefs.

*Credits to the content writers. Not my original content, uploaded as received ;-)

A decade ago, we started a new annual tradition: sitting down to write a letter about our work in philanthropy. We got the idea from our friend Warren Buffett, who’s been writing brilliant reports to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway for more than half a century.

This year we’re marking our 10th letter by answering 10 tough questions about our work that people often ask us. Here is one of them. You can read the rest at gatesletter.com.

Why are you really giving your money away—what’s in it for you?

Bill: It’s not because we think about how we’ll be remembered. We would be delighted if someday diseases like polio and malaria are a distant memory, and the fact that we worked on them is too.

There are two reasons to do something like this. One is that it’s meaningful work. Even before we got married, we talked about how we would eventually spend a lot of time on philanthropy. We think that’s a basic responsibility of anyone with a lot of money. Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society.

The other reason is that we have fun doing it. Both of us love digging into the science behind our work. At Microsoft, I got deep into computer science. At the foundation, it’s computer science plus biology, chemistry, agronomy, and more. I’ll spend hours talking to a crop researcher or an HIV expert, and then I’ll go home, dying to tell Melinda what I’ve learned.

It’s rare to have a job where you get to have both a big impact and a lot of fun. I had it with Microsoft, and I have it with the foundation. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the bulk of my time.

Melinda: We both come from families that believed in leaving the world better than you found it. My parents made sure my siblings and I took the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church to heart. Bill’s mom was known, and his dad still is known, for showing up to advocate for a dizzying number of important causes and support more local organizations than you can count.

When we got to know Warren Buffett, we discovered that he was steeped in those same values, even though he grew up in a different place and at a different time. When Warren entrusted us with giving away a large portion of his wealth, we redoubled our efforts to live up to the values we share.

Of course, these values are not unique to the three of us. Millions of people give back by volunteering their time and donating money to help others. We are, however, in the more unusual position of having a lot of money to donate. Our goal is to do what our parents taught us and do our part to make the world better.

Bill and I have been doing this work, more or less full-time, for 17 years. That’s the majority of our marriage. It’s almost the entirety of our children’s lives. By now the foundation’s work has become inseparable from who we are. We do the work because it’s our life.

We’ve tried to pass on values to our children by talking with them about the foundation’s work, and, as they’ve gotten older, taking them with us on trips so they can see it for themselves. We’ve connected to each other through thousands of daily debriefs on learning sessions, site visits, and strategy meetings. Where we go, who we spend our time with, what we read and watch and listen to—these decisions are made through the prism of our work at the foundation (when we’re not watching The Crown).

Maybe 20 years ago, we could have made a different choice about what to do with our wealth. But now it’s impossible to imagine. If we’d decided to live a different life then, we wouldn’t be us now. This is who we chose to be.

Read the rest of our Annual Letter and ask us your toughest question at gatesletter.com.

Written by

Bill Gates
Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Originally at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-were-really-giving-our-money-away-bill-gates

A carpenter and his apprentice were walking through a large forest. They came across an old oak tree. The carpenter asked his apprentice, “Do you know why this tree is so tall, so huge, so gnarled and beautiful?” The apprentice looked at his master and said, “No… Why?” “Because it is useless,” answered the carpenter. “If it had been useful, it would have been cut long ago and made into tables and chairs. But because it is useless, it could grow so tall and beautiful and you can sit in its shade and relax.”

We constantly confuse worth with usefulness. Witness the way we treat the old and the economically unproductive. No longer do we seek to benefit from their wisdom and experience. I wondered about the number of harried, “useful” people who had identified their worth with the numbers, statistics and concrete results they could deliver, the societal praise and adulation, and I realised how much wisdom there was in the elderly.

We talk about a society with a “human face”. Yet, most of the underlying premises of our society, our jobs, environment, our social groups is based on equating worth with “usefulness”.

What we have is the fellowship of the strong and the able. What we need also to develop is the fellowship of the weak and the disabled, who are often more transparent and open and from whom we can learn. Most people defend their “usefulness” for as long as they can.

Instead, if they learnt to share their “uselessness”, they would, like the beautiful oak tree that —though gnarled and old — is beautiful, providing shade and sustenance to others.

by Janina Gomes

Originally at https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/the-speaking-tree/know-your-true-worth/

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