Monday, January 29, 2007

Words of Wisdom on Independence and Empowerment from Susan T. Buffett

Listen to a June 30, 2006 NPR interview with Nicole Buffett, an artist in San Francisco and granddaughter of Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men. Warren Buffett encouraged his family to be independent. He felt that flooding his heirs with wealth would be "neither right nor rational." Nicole was "pleasantly surprised" when her grandfather announced that he would donate 85 percent of his fortune or about 37 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates charitable foundation. Nicole said this really would have pleased her grandmother Susan T. Buffett. Nicole thought he was fulfilling her grandmother's wishes. Nicole described her experience as "a middle class upbringing with an upper class education." Her grandparents paid for her education, but she always needed a part time job while in school to supplement the aid she was given. She worked as a Nanny to earn extra money. She enjoyed working with children which was a really nice way to supplement her income while doing something that she feel good about. She described a universal frustration of wanting more money, but focusing on earning the money rather than asking for it which was not considered an option in her family. She learned to focus on personal responsibility to create a living specifically to support herself. Finally Nicole recounted five sayings, words of wisdom handed down by her grandmother.

1. Show up.
2. Tell the truth.
3. Pay attention.
4. Do your best.
5. Don't be attached to the outcome

These were her late grandmother's way of supporting the path and teaching of being independent and really empowering ourselves.


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