"It's a Death Sentence" - The Moment Bill Gates Discovered Poverty

By Sukh Singh Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach Lighthouse International

"If we have optimism, but we don’t have empathy—then it doesn’t matter how much we master the secrets of science, we’re not really solving problems; we’re just working on puzzles."

- Bill Gates

The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, started with a compelling vision to build the company; to have a personal computer in every home.

He may have revolutionised the work place, the family home and the way we see computers, but there was one incident in Mr Gates' life that completely transformed how he saw the world. In 1997, he visited Soweto, South Africa, to see computers being used by the locals...


Cleverness Cannot Solves Problems, Wisdom Can

Our world is becoming more and more sophisticated. Slimmer computers. Self-driving cars. Drones that deliver goods. But what Bill Gates realised in 1997 was that all the cleverness and technology in the world can't solve problems without the basic human principles of empathy and compassion. One of the worst things in the world is for a human being to feel misunderstood, treated like a number or just a statistic. In 1997, Bill Gates woke up to what people really need. It meant that when he visited a Tuberculosis hospital later on, that it shook him to his core and he knew he could do something about it.

While Mr Gates may have the ability to solve problems on a larger scale, the principle of empathy applies to us all. When we are so lost in the day-to-day busyness of our lives, we miss what other people are going through...we even miss what we are struggling with - and so struggle to see a way out!! Our problems cannot be solved purely through the mind, we need to listen to our conscience to show us what really needs to change. We don't just need more apps and better technology, we need to increase our own wisdom to how we can change our own lives and the lives of others for the better.

    Is there a challenge, a role you're about to take or a step forward you need to take that you're afraid of? How has George Washington's experiences inspired you?

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