Why Would I Seat This Waiter Next to Bill Gates on a Philanthropy Panel?

Photo Credit: Humans of New York, 8/26/2014

Photo Credit: Humans of New York, 8/26/2014,  Kampala, Uganda

To everyone who says, “Maybe someday when I’m rich like Bill Gates I’ll give back to people in need,” consider this man.

Look at his face and know that you are seeing the fierce, extraordinary face of  philanthropos — the love of one’s fellow humans.

Thanks to Brandon Stanton and his HUMANS OF NEW YORK project going global in partnership with the United Nations, we have this man’s story:

“A few years ago, I got a call on my cell phone from a twelve year old child from my village. He was calling me from a bus stop. He’d taken a bus into the city alone, and he was calling me to ask if I could help him find a way to go to school. Both of his parents had died of AIDS, and he had no money for tuition. I told him to stay where he was, and left work immediately to pick him up. At first I was very mad at him. He should not have traveled alone. But then I looked at him and I saw myself. I’d also been desperate to go to school after my father was killed, but we had no money. So even though I was suffering myself, I told him I would try to help him. My salary was not enough, so I tried many things to get the money. After work, I went to the landfill to hunt for recyclables. But after I paid to have them cleaned, there was no money left. Now I’m trying to make bricks. I have a small operation in the village to make bricks, and I sell them in the city. It doesn’t make much money, but it’s enough to pay tuition for the boy and three of his siblings.”

This man’s own family was massacred in front of him when he was 9 years old, and when he escaped to a neighbor’s house they locked the door and turned him away.

Photographer Brandon Stanton also added, “Unfortunate side story to this interview: While this man was sharing his story with me, a young, well-dressed man walked up to the bar, cut him off mid-sentence and said, ‘Get me a coffee. And hurry up.'”


Are you the person rushing along demanding that the world meet your needs, or are you the person meeting the world’s needs?

When was the last time you looked at someone struggling  — and then did something BIG about it?

When was the last time you stretched your heart and your hands open this wide to hold the future of another human being?

What would our world look like if we were all THIS?

– – – –

Thank you www.humansofnewyork.com.
Twitter: @humansofny
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