By COLlive reporter
Towards a philanthropic and meaningful life…
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, was given a spiritual road map for living based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
It happened while she was at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, to deliver the 2013 Commencement Speech for more than 5,000 students Sunday at the university’s Wallace-Wade Stadium.
“You can change the way you think about other people. You can choose to see their humanity first,” Gates told students of her alma mater about the choice they have to impact the larger community.
“We are finally creating the tools to turn the world into a neighborhood. You can light up a network of 7 billion people with long-lasting and highly-motivating human connections.”
After the speech, she encountered Rabbi Zalman and Yehudis Bluming, co-directors of Chabad in Durham and Chapel Hill that serves the Jewish students and faculty at Duke and UNC universities.
Speaking with Gates, wife of Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft and one of the richest and most philanthropic people in the world, Rabbi Bluming shared the Rebbe’s vision on the responsibility of wealth and called on every individual to become an ambassador of good.
The Shliach then presented her with the book “Towards a Meaningful Life – The Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson,” which gives Jews and non-Jews alike fresh perspectives on every aspect of their lives.
It came with a dedication written by Bluming’s 11-year-old son Mendel: “In awe of the tidal wave of goodness you have created, I share with you the inspired writings of the great leader of the Jewish world. May you go from strength to strength.”
“She was very humble,” Rabbi Bluming told COLlive about the reaction of Gates, who is Roman Catholic. “She was thankful for the book and was sincerely appreciative for the note by Mendel.”