You Don’t Have to be Bezos to end poverty

Written by: Dmitry Lipinskiy on April 29, 2021 •

“Bezos could end poverty if he shared his billions.”

I’ve seen this post many times on Facebook.

I want to share a story in response to this quote.

When I was 13, I was the oldest of 7 kids living in a one-bedroom apartment. For context, your living room is the size of the entire place I grew up in.

During the day I would collect empty beer bottles, and at night I would go to dumpsters to find food and clothes. Beer bottles were a good gig because Russians are pigs: when they drink, they throw them all over the place. Most times, turning in ten bottles got me a loaf of bread.

That’s not what this post is about though. I don’t post for sympathy.

One day I was following two homeless men. It was March and it was snowing. One man had sandals on with the heels exposed to the snow on the ground. Weeks prior, we found a bag of new shoes. I was wearing one to school and had an extra pair. I reached the homeless men and offered that they come to my house and grab the pair. We were right next to our apartment.

See, you don’t need to have a lot to feed the poor. You will never hear me share my “giving stories” but I gave away a car, and was helped when I needed help myself.

Point is: you don’t have to be Bezos to end poverty.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…
… then you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

Don’t judge Bezos for not helping millions if you haven’t helped the poor yourself. Both you and Bezos can. The question is scale. So if you make more money than 90% of the world and he makes more than 99% of the world, you think you’re better than him when you both don’t feed the hungry? Or do you want me to believe that if you had his opportunities you would do differently? What stops you now?

Point is, we all can help the less fortunate, and those who do, well, they don’t look at those who don’t; they just do it. Even when we are living in poverty we can help someone, and you will never know what billionaires do; they might be saving the world in a way you will never imagine.

Don’t judge billionaires and don’t compare yourself to them. Do the best you can with what you have, and maybe one day you will have billions to spare.


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