I don't like the word 'persons'. I totally prefer 'people' as the plural of 'person' rather than 'persons'. Our campus pastor uses 'persons' all the time, and I cringe every time I hear it. Technically, he's not wrong, I suppose, as discussed in this interesting article.
But this post is not about semantics. As pointed out in this Stephen Colbert Report clip, Jesus isn't all about semantics either.
He is, however, all about taking care of the poor, sick, and marginalized, which is what TIME's Persons of the Year are all about as well. (Did you like my transition? :-D)
The winners are Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates. I've discussed Bono before. So has TIME.
My parents suscribe to TIME, and I read the long articles about the winners after dinner tonight. I had heard of the Gates' charitable efforts in the healthcare sector, how they were giving away more money than anyone, but I always figured that was because they have more money than anyone. This article shed more light into their heart in what they're doing, and their determination to go about their giving in a responsible way.
The article also made me think- Bill Gates is probably the most hated man in computer circles (hence the Slashdot graphic)- but probably, now, undeservingly so. Some in the *nix group claim they believe what they do about free ('free' as is speech and as in beer) software because an alternative, low cost solution could eliminate the digital divide and help developing countries enter the Information Age more quickly, eliminating poverty by providing jobs. Free software could make the software currently only available to those who can shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars accessible to all, allowing any number of people to gain useful skills, encourage innovation, and have a voice in the world.
Microsoft is not all about the free-as-in-speech-or-beer software, but, in a way, is still working toward the same causes as the *nix folks via the Gates' organization. I started to think, what if there was a legitimite "Robin Hood" approach? "Take from the rich, give to the poor." Who are the rich? (Hint: 'Bill Gates' is the wrong answer here) Major corporations. That have lots of computers. And servers. And ALL give lots of money to Microsoft through license fees and support plans. Who are the poor? The millions of people in the world without access to elecricity or running water or, yes, computers. Those that don't have a chance of giving Microsoft a penny.
Although I'm not exactly calling the Gates modern Robin Hoods- they do live in a $100 million house- I respect that money from the richest is going to the poorest, even if it is a small percentage. We can only pray it makes a dent.