Friday, September 2, 2016

Voldemort is not a large city in Maryland

It's just me talking, but I am not a Harry Potter fan.  I don't think that all the inconveniences in life can be solved by casting spells, and speaking of spell, I wish that people would learn to! Muggles and mugworts and people named Petunia do not exist in the real world, and even as a kid, I was all about learning facts, not imagining how great it would be to be at Gryffindor.  

But hey!  If you're into it, it's fine.  When we started reading in elementary school, I went right for books about history and the wars and the presidents.  Other kids were reading novels and short stories, and today's kids still do, which has made Joanne "J.K." Rowling, author of all those Harry Potter books, a very very rich woman over in England.

But it was charity that made her a rich woman, no longer very very rich.  Sure, she made a pretty bundle, but high British taxes and her penchant for making charitable donations ($160 million and counting) pulled her off the Forbes magazine billionaire list.

I know we live in a world where one of Warren Buffett's deal snags him $8 per second, and a senator's daughter makes $18 million a year for denying lifesaving medicine to people.  

But giving $160,000,000 to people in need is the better way to go. Not saying that Warren Buffett isn't similarly generous, but the point is, I think that life gives us gifts and opportunities. It's what we do with them that counts. For example, Ms Rowling has the ability to come up with these story ideas and weave her tales into books that people want to read and movies that people want to go see.  

But she's not about to sit in some castle, counting golden coins and hiring someone to walk ahead of her strewing rose petals in her path (that was Mick Jagger) or feeding her dogs Kobe beef sauteed in truffle butter. You know how they ask for a dollar at the supermarket checkout to fight childhood diseases now and then?

Imagine shelling out a dollar 160 million times!

Good for her.  And Ms Rowling, don't feel too bad.  I'm not on the billionaire list either.

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