Many well-known celebrities have embraced philanthropy as an important component of their personal and spiritual life.
Here are some glimpses into their views on creating a habit of giving as a life-balancing act.
With its anthro- root, philanthropy means literally "love of mankind". Thus, philanthropy is giving money for a purpose or cause benefiting people who you don't personally know. (Animals are usually included as well.) Individuals have often set up their own permanent philanthropic organizations in the form of foundations. The greatest American philanthropists have included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, but tens of millions of us could be considered philanthropists on a much smaller scale.
Many Hollywood celebrities, businesspeople, authors, musicians, and others have made a point of going on record with their views on the importance of maintaining a focus on charitable giving.
During an interview Angelina Jolie did with CNN's Anderson Cooper, he marveled at the idea that she gives away a third of her earnings, and Ms. Jolie laughed. “Yes, well, I have a stupid income for what I do for a living,” she said.
One person who has a razor-sharp understanding of enormous celebrity-level wealth is the great man himself, Warren Buffett, who from month to month, bounces around on the list of the world's wealthiest people, constantly trading spots among Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg. A huge proponent of philanthropy, his philosophy on the subject has always been quite simple:
In fact, he has been so committed to the subject that in 2010, he, along with co-founder Bill Gates, created The Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage the wealthy people of the world to contribute their wealth to philanthropic causes. The organization's goal is to inspire the wealthy people of the world to give half of their net worth to philanthropy, either during their lifetime or upon their death. The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. In June 2010, the Giving Pledge campaign was formally announced, and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett began recruiting members. As of August 2010, the aggregate wealth of the first 40 pledgers was $125 billion. To date, $732 billion has been pledged by 139 individuals, and Mr. Buffett is working hard to wrangle more into the fold:
Some relatively young celebrities have a surprisingly far-reaching view toward their future and the legacy they will be leaving behind.
As more and more of the general population are coming to understand our society's continual evolution toward a reduced middle-class and a greater call for aid to the needy, it's good to remind ourselves of a simple fact that is often overlooked, but was recently restated by U2's Bono: