My friend from US messaged me today and asked “What is this article 370 & Kashmir controversy all newspapers are talking about and why is Pakistan so upset? Will this result in war with Pakistan now?”

I told him “Look, 5 years ago, Facebook acquired instagram. Isn’t it? Now, if Mark Zuckerberg announces that both instagram & facebook will be streamlined and will have common login accounts, will Google or Microsoft or any other company be offended?”

He said “Of course not!! When the whole world knows that instagram belongs to facebook, then why should anyone bother if they merge both into common account. In fact, it is good for users because they will have a seamless experience.”

I said “Exactly!! Same is the case with Kashmir as well. Few decades ago, Kashmir officially acceded to India, which is equivalent to instagram being officially acquired by Facebook. But temporarily, they had to continue using their own Constitution, which is equivalent to instagram using a separate login account.

And now, what has happened is that Govt of India has streamlined the accession so that Constitution of India applies to Kashmir as well, which is equivalent to streamlining the facebook-instagram login in order to use common account.”

He exclaimed “ohh that’s all the issue is all about!! Thanks for explaining it using simple analogy. Now I will fully support India because what they are doing is perfect and in the best interest of everyone. Most of my friends in US are actually confused with the news and there are lot of misinformation spread over this by our liberal newspapers. I will use this facebook-instagram analogy to explain them & demistify their confusion. Thanks again.”

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

Can it get any geographically punnier than this?

Timmy : I’m Hungary,.

Mum : Why don’t you Czech the fridge.

Timmy : Ok, I’m Russian to the kitchen.

Mum : Hmm…maybe you’ll find some Turkey.

Timmy : Yeah, but its all covered in Greece. Yuck !

Mum : There is Norway you can eat that.

Timmy : I know, I guess I’ll just have a can of Chile.

Mum : Denmark your name on the can.

Timmy : Kenya do it for me?

Mum : Ok , I’m Ghana do it.

Timmy : Thanks, i’m so tired Iran for an hour today.

Mum : It Tokyo long enough.

Timmy : Yeah, Israelly hard sometimes !

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