Dear Mr. Gates

  Dear Bill,

You don’t know me, I’m your average single mom of three kids working to raise a family and make the world a better place. 

You and Melinda have done wonderful things for our world from Seattle to South Africa, from books to malaria. You have gathered the best and brightest to work on these issues, know doubt you have the smartest people in the world working at the foundation.

I have worked in social services for 20 years including a challenging bout with poverty myself. The world is a better place because you care and give.

The question I pose to you and your think tanks are, how do we really create lasting cultural change that starts an revolution of abundance? The haves and have nots coming together to create impactful lasting cultural change that leads the way for our children and their children. 

The anthropologist in me wonders if many of our western issues are due to the breakdown of the supportive nature of the tribe, where people truly looked out for each other. Guess what, Facebook is not a tribe.

If one more person invites me to a poverty summit where a bunch of rich white people sit around and try to figure out how up solve poverty, I think I will throw up. Are we really that unaware and arrogant? That we think we can fix the problem for those poor people? How about we offer support to those in need and ask them what they think, they are the experts in poverty after all.

How about we create community centers with beautiful art and engaging programs, with case workers for those that need it, online bulletin boards for sharing resources, rides and diapers. Like craigslist but at a manageable scale and community based, in neighborhoods. Where we put the humanity back in our communities and remove the us and them mentality.

Let’s create systems and layers of support, from a high school mentor for each freshman, to a seasoned parent for new mothers, to an alumni mentor for college graduates. We have to bring the love and caring back into our communities so it truly becomes a supportive village to raise our children.

From there, we can weather the storms of family, addiction, poverty, and mental illness and celebrate the successes, births, new jobs, new homes together, as a community. 

Do I know the answers to solve the world’s problems? No. But I sure am willing to work on making the world a better place and I know that a key ingredient is community. A community that is woven together with supportive systems that support success for everyone. That Mr. Gates, would change everything.
Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

Tanya 

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