“Don’t believe in miracles; depend on them.” Lawrence J. Peter
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
A few weeks ago, there was an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal regarding the life journey of a remarkable couple Howard and Lottie Marcuse. The author indulged the reader with a series of events about these two immigrants who had left their homeland before the terror of Nazism darkened all of Europe. The Marcuses met each other in the United States, married and were eventually introduced to a young student attending Columbia’s business school. His name was Warren Buffett. The fortuitous meeting with the now well-known, legendary investor prompted the couple to invest their savings with his holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Through the benefit of decades of compounding, this investment grew to four hundred million dollars. After living their lives understated and beneath their means, the Marcuses bequeathed their accrued savings to Ben-Gurion University. Now you might be wondering how this is connected to miracles since many wealthy people leave fortunes to charity. Well, this couple believed if the world was more plentiful of water it would promote greater peace. Their gift towards water research is certainly a beginning, and just to be able to expand the provision of purified water to those in need would be a miracle. If this brought the ever elusive peace on earth, that would surely be a miracle.
A day after reading about the Marcuses, the story of an Australian billionaire, Andrew Forrest, came to my attention. Mr. Forrest discovered there are 45.8 million people enslaved on earth with a majority residing in the countries of India, China, Pakistan, Bangledesh, and Uzbekistan, and as a result, he and his wife Nicola developed the Walk Free Founation to help eradicate slavery. Most people in the free world especially in the United States take their freedom for granted. We should not! In fact, if one looks through history, freedom was not a given. With the miracle of modernity, our country has striven to surpass such crimes against humanity. Even though there are estimated to be 58,000 slaves in the U.S., we are a nation of laws. Most Americans would abhor the idea that such enslaved people could be residing in their own community, and many would try to intervene and help rectify such an incomprehensible situation. For the world at large, it is heartwarming to know people such as Mr. Forrest are using their wealth to extinguish this barbarity once and for all. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if this could bring good will and harmony to all of human kind?
The Marcuses and the Forrests are gifts to humanity by using their vast fortunes to help humanity. From such giving, who knows what other miracles can arise? In the meantime, the rest of us can continue to strive and help humanity in our own small way. In fact, what may appear to be miniscule may be greater than one realizes. It almost does not matter. Just remember acts of kindness, charity and especially love can often alter the trajectory of another person’s life which may feel miraculous to that particular individual. Although you may never know the impact of your action, you could be contributing to someone’s growth and helping them enrich their lives in a way they may never have thought possible. Isn’t that a glorious miracle in itself?
Siegel, Seth. “After Fleeing the Nazis, a Legacy That Won’t Run Dry.” Wall Street Journal 23 June. 2016. Web.
Wolfe, Alexander. “Andrew Forrest’s Mission To End Modern Slavery.” Wall Street Journal 24 June. 2016. Web.