What comes to mind when you hear the name Bill Gates? For most of us, my youngest son and I included, it is Microsoft. His name is synonymous with both software we use every day and successfulness. Who can’t help appreciate, and even envy, the influence he has had on our modern world of technology, and who can’t help be blown away by the money he has made? I can’t. I mean, most of us are barely getting by and even if we are successful and do well financially, we certainly can’t compete with Bill Gates!
Bill Gates, entrepreneur and millionaire, has always been a role model to me, but today I read an article that moves him even further up the ladder and onto a different, personal plateau. Of course, Mr. Gates will never know that, nor will he ever know what his comments meant to me, but that’s okay. What matters is not what he knows of me, but what I know of him.
The people I typically admire the most are those who work hard and relentless to promote human equality and rights, especially gay rights, and today, I found that Mr. Gates is one of many who not only support these rights quietly in their own homes and family, but promotes it publicly.
The article was posted in “The Advocate” (You can read the article and watch a short video clip HERE) on March 16, 2013.
Speaking with Mike Allen in an interview for “Playbook Cocktails,” Mr. Gates discusses the Boy Scouts, where he learned to tie knots he still uses when he secures his boat to the dock. From his days in the Scouts, he also learned a great deal about long distance hiking, more than he apparently wanted to know, and incorporates part of that knowledge in hikes with his children. While I found this entertaining, and even interesting, this is not what caught my attention.
Mr. Allen asked if the boy scouts should stop the ban on gay members and leaders. Although I had read the headline and knew the answer, I still held my breath for a second or two, afraid this was a trick. It wasn’t.
Oh how my heart soared upon hearing those two little words. Bill Gates, successful business man, entrepreneur, Microsoft founder, millionaire, philanthropist, and role model stood up for gay rights!
As I did a little research, I found that he doesn’t hide behind his words, saying only what he thinks is popular opinion, but he puts his money where his mouth is.
Mr. Gates, in his infinite wisdom and generous heart, both personally and along with his wife and his foundation, gives money to organizations to help fight and raise awareness for HIV/AIDS as well as working toward legalizing gay marriage.
For me, his support, encouragement, and donations for those with HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ community rises far above any financial or professional gain he has made throughout his career. I hope more business leaders as well as the general population learns from Mr. Gates.
If we all work together, hand in hand, side by side, we can change the world.