Friday, February 05, 2016

Directed philanthropy and John D. Rockefeller. .

A true life story ..

The first billionaire of the world, around 1913 AD, the first oil prospector and owner of Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller, at 53 years of age had all the riches of the world at his command, ie. more than a hundred years ago. But at middle age, he found that he had developed a strange disease. His skin started crumpling up and hair falling. How could this ever have happened to a handsome young man  who had a great future and lot of dreams to accomplish. 
Young and handsome John ..

John consulted with all the great, renowned medical doctors around the world, who travelled across the seas to go to US to meet him and offer treatment. Nothing worked.

Having lost all hope, he was destined to die any time and was on his deathbed. His local pastor came around for his daily visit and prayers and one day confided with him of a possible remedy - give back to society.
a bust of John D Rockefeller ..
John found it very difficult to let go of his riches. But he called his children to his bed side and gave each of them a quarter million dollars each and donated the rest of his wealth, say $999 million to the Rockefeller Trust.

He felt he had let go of a great weight off his mind. He felt gratified seeing how his riches could be productively pumped back to the well being of society and the world while he was ready to face death ..

Days passed by to weeks and months, John started observing a strange change in his body. His hair started growing back on his head, his skin started regaining its youthful charm !! John got out of bed and spent the rest of his life administering the Rockefeller Trust he had set up ! The Trust focused on directed philanthropy than shared philanthropy, on eradicating diseases from the face of planet earth.

Rockefeller, at mid age .. Directed philanthropy ..
When India was threatened with famine in the late sixties and seventies, it was the Rockefeller Foundation that held the nation together and saved millions of lives by helping donate thousands of tonnes of wheat to the people of India !

The Trusts' contribution to the setting up of Medical Colleges and Institutes in Asia and Africa, saving humanity from the scourge of communicable diseases cannot be forgotten. The power of giving back to society and directed philanthropy by a single individual, still presently remains the strongest motivator for the present day billionaires to give back to society. Zuckerberg donating 99% of this wealth is an instance to point.

A contented , happy Rockefeller in old age ..
Rockefeller lived a full healthy life and died at a ripe age of 96 as a very satisfied, contented and happy person !! It is not the riches you have, but how it can bring relief and succour to the people of the world that is important and gratifying !!

It is said, if Rockefeller had kept the billion dollars to himself, it would have accumulated to app $860 billion dollars at present rates, which is ten times the worth of the present richest man, Bill Gates, but planet earth would have been a hollow, more painful and less pleasant place for humanity to survive !! 


George Easaw.

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