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Ifeoluwa Olawole: A Lesson in Love by the Zuckerbergs

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When my brother first told me Mark Zuckerberg and his wife had not only welcomed a child, but pledged 99% of their profit from Facebook to “humanity”, I didn’t fully grasp the magnitude of their action. Hours later however, and after reading the note to their child myself, I was filled with deep inspiration and immense awe of their sacrifice and commitment to making the world a better place. I tried but couldn’t understand that type of generosity. More so because I am from a country where people are obsessed with accumulating wealth for themselves.

In itself, wanting money and more money is not a terrible thing, somewhat selfish maybe, but not terrible. However, I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to our unborn generations to make the world a better place in whatever ways we can.

I remember months ago, a Nigerian celeb mentioned that anyone living in Lagos and has only one stream of income is “not serious”. That statement was very unsettling for me, because the person assumed that everyone’s ultimately goal is to have much more money than they know what to do with. It’s not that desiring gazillions is bad too, it’s that I am positive that world powers like Zuckerberg were/are not motivated by money. I don’t think that a desire to be the richest person is what makes people that rich. I think that it’s an absolute, unshaken passion for what they do and how they do it.

The more I pondered on this famous generosity, the more I fell into a deep retrospection and self-assessment. I thought, if I, an unashamed Christian were to ever be that rich or even as a regular Jane, with the amount of compassion I proclaim, can I EVER give out so selflessly to those in need?

I think that theirs is a lesson in love, mercy, compassion, humility, and simplicity for the rest of us. If we want to practice the love we preach, we should do so committedly. Love is not completely ignoring those in dire need and amassing material (and extravagant) possessions we have no need for. Have you ever noticed how no matter how much money Bill Gates and co give out, they still never go broke? Remember that you can have all the faith in the world, thump the bible all you care, or even speak in tongues, you still are nothing without love.

Of course, everyone does not and would not have billions to give out. But that should not reduce your commitment to ridding the world of hate and making this world a better inhabitance. It starts with you and I. It starts with stopping the cowardly act of bullying people under the cloak of anonymity. It means genuinely caring for the poor and needy of our society.

If you have WAY extra money than you know what to do with, okay then, invest in someone’s education. Is there always a beggar on your way to work, how about you give them a little something for food? It really is in the little acts. These are just examples by the way, do what you can, how ever you wish too.

Just don’t occupy the world like it’s just you in it. I don’t know about you, but I want my unborn children, niece(s), nephew(s) to live in a much better world than this.

We really can spread love if we ATTEMPT it. Oh, and for the love of God, we need to remember and understand that not everyone wants to be stupendously rich.

Not everyone needs a “side hustle”.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bevan Goldswain

Ifeoluwa Olawole is currently a graduate student, who is very interested in International Development and Politics, and hopes to pursue a career in that sector. When she's not dreaming of world peace, she spends her time watching and re-watching her favorite T.V shows. You can visit her little corners on cyber space at www.fivecoveredcolonnades.blogspot.com and www.theloveoasis.com

16 Comments

  1. Surely

    December 3, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I see wife is still Priscilla Chan, not Mrs. Priscilla Mark Zuckerberg aka Facebook Assistant Madam. food 4 thought. BN, take note (u ppl that must change someone’s name on their behalf).

  2. miss j

    December 3, 2015 at 9:11 am

    True talk… the way things are happening in this country it’s scary to me. People say we should stop all that vanity talk but the truth is bitter I might have all the money I have in the whole world and I still won’t be happy I still won’t be loved toke’s comment really disappointed me because before then I had a lot of high regard for her life is not about working so hard and making so much money and enjoying the finest things of life we as individuals should find our true calling on this earth and stick to it. How have you impacted other people?? What have you achieved that your legacy will still be followed after your dead? One thing that people should always remember is that no matter how much money and material things you have accumulated on this earth they all can’t fit in your grave it’s just you and the clothes on your body so be kind be humble show people love give and don’t ask and at the end you will realize that your happiness and the love you experience from doing all these things will be better than any other material thing. We need a positive attitude in this country and it starts from you and me people are living fake lives out there with no idea how tomorrow might look like marriages are crumbling side chick’s are increasing and the don’t mind being called side chick’s girls are not ashamed of chasing after a man ithese are not things that should be our main focus but of how to be a better person, how to be at peace with oneself, how to be committed to whichever God you serve and most importantly how to give, show love and be loved..

  3. st cathy

    December 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

    We need a culture of philanthropy. It’s just so dead in Africa. The worst part is, these people (Bill Gates & Co), they send their money down to Africa and a large chunk gets guzzled up by people who are rich already. What do they do with all that money. It’s just sick.

    • Mamacita

      December 3, 2015 at 10:02 am

      @ St Cathy – Please speak for your immediate environment. In Northern Nigeria where I am from, people give alms (Sadaqa) to the less fortunate, sometimes in petty change and other times in larger quantities – in the form of trailers loads of food items, clothes etc (whether this encourages begging is a discussion for another article/blog post), it is usually whatever the giver is capable of funding.

      I am a christian but I tend to do this as frequently as I can afford to whether at home or abroad. Therefore, the culture of philanthropy is not dead in Africa and just like the writer aptly put it – do your own bit and do not worry about what the next person is doing or not doing as the case may be.

    • Olorunwa

      December 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

      well said. its is just so sad that in africa and indeed among the black, there is little or no love and care and consideration for the next man. these attitude affects our development and progress as a race, people and continent. forgive me to say, the churches are not even helping matters in this regard, to much materialism every where. we are appear to be so religious in this part of the world and lacks the moral behaviors and altitude that should go with it. indeed we are all guilty, even me. there is a great need for us to cultivate a true heart of love in our society in order to make nigeria and africa a better place. the development and advancement made in Europe and America etc are product of love – lets us all thinks about this. May god help us to see the for love in our pursuit for chnage and development in nigeria and africa as a continent .

  4. Edu

    December 3, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Great words to start off the day

  5. Olorunwa

    December 3, 2015 at 10:06 am

    again i say let love lead for change in Nigeria and Africa

  6. Tolu

    December 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I felt like the scum of the earth after I read what Mark and Patricia did. It will definately motivate me to give more.

  7. Tolu

    December 3, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Sorry I meant Mark and Priscilla

  8. Obioma

    December 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    My dear writer, those folks dont donate to charity Foundation cos they love to help the poor . Is a tax evasion tactics or a systems of paying small change for tax . Before u dey feel love go seat down with a proper accountant who know American tax system and ask who is benefits more from those donations

  9. Broli

    December 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Do you guys understand that he is not giving that money to charity, he is giving to himself and heirs by way of his privately owned foundation (not a charity but an LLC) with the ability to pass the wealth down to his heirs without paying any estate transfer taxes. Because it is not a charity, it is not require to spend funds on charitable projects every year, the funds can be used in for profit investments…long story short this is a way to avoid paying uncle Sam for transference of shares. So yes, I guess we can say he is being charitable.

    • Anon

      December 4, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Oh please. If it was such an easy thing, why are other billionaires not giving away their money. Using an LLC means that they have the flexibility to invest whichever way they want; a luxury NGOs can’t afford. The Zuckerbergs have very vast interests. AS an LLC they can diverse as much as they want in education, science, inclusion etc: they can donate or invest. Way to go with trivializing such an important thing. Smh

  10. Nkechi

    December 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Good job on your financial exposure Obioma and Broli. I like people who look at issues deeply. I really admire the couple, don’t me wrong because they are simple, generous and intelligent But in all we do let’s be honest and get enough knowledge of facts before we draw conclusions. You can tell that Obioma and Broli understand the American system.

    • Emeka

      December 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      99 percent got me thinking. I have heard people donate high percentages but not 99. Whatever, they are still making a difference in their world.

  11. The Reet Petite

    December 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    #Awk when it’s actually for Tax Evasion. Makes me twist my head in awe when people start to bash Africa and Africans every chance they get (RE some comments on here). What does that have to do with anything pls? Mr Zuckerberg is looking for a way to keep his money in the family, shikena. Fast forward 50 years and his grand-children will be on the forbes list for “most successful” meanwhile……….Gotta give it to his accountants and PR team though, they aren’t being paid big money for nothing.

    • Anon

      December 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      For your information, since it is an LLC, they will still be paying tax. Get your facts correctly before spreading false information with your cynicism.

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