Exploring Charity During the Season of Giving: Bill and Melinda Gates and Mother Teresa

This holiday season, giving is frequently on our minds. Gary Anderson’s Charity is a welcome reminder that not all giving is inspired by a commercial materialism. Different motivations for charity mean different ways of giving, as Anderson explains. Bill and Melinda Gates have given an immense amount money and their efforts have been effective, yet:

“they remain, in spite of this enormous donation, one of the wealthiest couples in the world. Mother Teresa, on the other hand, gave up everything to serve the poorest of the poor.” (Gary Anderson, Charity)

Mother Teresa began her charitable work out of a religious motivation that altered her whole approach to service.

“When Mother Teresa started her religious order, the entire premise of the organization was the gift of one’s total self to the poor. She refused on principle to establish any kind of endowment that would have relieved the sisters of the order of a total reliance on God and of identifying completely with the poor whom they served.” (Gary Anderson, Charity)

How do you measure who has done the greater good?


Stay tuned for a comparison with the “naughty” side of the holiday list — a post from Gary Anderson on the worst sins in history.

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