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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Let's Talk About Giving

Gerd Altman

Since her divorce from the richest man in the world, MacKenzie Scott has done something unusual. She pledged to give “the majority of her fortune back to the society that helped generate it.” She promised to get started soon, then delivered more than 6 BILLION DOLLARS in the past year.


She gave to causes related to the pandemic and longer-term issues of race and gender-based inequities, poverty, food insecurity and climate change; strengthening democracy, colleges that welcomed low income students, and much, much more. 

So far she has given away less than 10% of her net worth, which may well exceed 60 billion dollars. Can you imagine what might happen if more of us used our good fortunes like that?

Still got your job, your house, your Social Security, retirement income, savings and investments in the stock market? If 10% of your “extra” income seems like too much to give, how about 5%? What if we chose to turn over our stimulus checks to support the United Way, or Habitat for Humanity… or public broadcasting?

Why do that? Because we all have had someone who helped us when we needed it. All of us.

Let’s follow MacKenzie Scott’s lead. Even if we don’t have 60 billion, many of us have more than enough, and our commitments can inspire more. 

Give to somebody or something you care about. Think how much that would be worth to the recipient of your gift. Then do it. And do it again.

I’m Rick Brooks, and that’s my Perspective.

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