Tim Cook has the right idea.
Before he dies, Cook will donate almost all of the estimated $700 million fortune (Apple stock and net worth combined) that he has amassed since taking over for Steve Jobs in 2011 to philanthropic projects and charities. His only other wish with his money is to put his 10-year-old nephew through college.
I just want to say thank you, Tim Cook, for being an positive example in a time when greed and selfish tendencies abound. Thank you, Tim Cook, for showing the world that no one needs $700 million dollars to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. I wish more of the wealthy would realize that truth.
Let’s take clean water for an example. There are people in this world that can’t even afford clean water (something required for basic human survival). According to The Water Project, building a well that will provide clean water for a few hundred people in Africa costs around $13,000. Now imagine how many clean water wells could be built with $700 million!
It is so sad to hear facts like those in the infographic above. But Cook is taking that fact (more people have a mobile phone than a toilet) and turning it on its head. He’s taking the money he has personally amassed through Apple (which sells millions of iPhones a year) and using it to better the lives of others.
Tim Cook has a serious interest in supporting the future of the human race. He takes a stance when it comes to social issues like human rights, immigration reforms and stopping the spread of AIDS. In October 2014, Cook announced he was gay in an essay published in Bloomberg Businessweek. He even said that his sexual orientation was a “yawner” and I agree. There are more important issues and endeavors for he and the media to focus on. No matter what your opinions are on a gay man as CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you can not deny that he is doing a great things:
- He is being honest and being himself (only publicly gay CEO in largest 700 corporations)
- He is giving selflessly to improve the lives of others
- He is looking at the bigger picture (the future)
- He is fighting for equality
- He is using his position of power to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice
- He is getting consumers’ attention for Apple in the best way possible (Even if his views and sexual orientation are controversial, he stands for all the right things. This is philanthropic public relations/cause marketing done right.)
Cook is following in the footsteps of other powerful men and women like Bill and Malinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Jack Ma and even Steve Jobs with his Product (RED) endeavor.
More millionaires and billionaires need to take a hint. The one percent can do a lot of good even with a small portion of their money. I can only hope that one day I will be as lucky as Tim Cook and be in a position to make a huge positive impact on the larger population.
Read Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky’s comprehensive article to learn more about Tim Cook.