Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Melinda Gates steps out

Fortune magazine has a feature profile on Melinda Gates - who is arguably the richest woman in the world, since she's married to the richest man, Microsoft founder Bill Gates. But until now, Melinda has not been a well-known public figure, although her profile has been growing as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's work around the world became more public.

A year ago, fellow billionaire Warren Buffett (the world's second-richest man) decided to give his fortune to the Gates' to distribute through their foundation. This year, Bill is leaving his position as Chairman of Microsoft to take on a bigger role with the foundation and Melinda will also be taking on a larger role.

I've always been fascinated by the Gates and while I'd heard about some of the items in this story, there's a lot I hadn't. If you're interested in finding out more, here's the results of a Google search on Melinda Gates. And this is a link to the article in Time when the Gates and U2's Bono shared the 2005 Person of Year award. As this article demonstrates, Melinda is a powerful force and with her wealth and influence (and her influential friends) she appears poised to make a lot of interesting changes in the world.

It's interesting that she's decided to adopt a more public profile at a time when another famous spouse, Hilary Clinton, is taking a determined run at stepping out from behind her own famous husband and become the first woman to be President.

As Bob Dylan wrote, "The times, they are a-changing." Those words described a different time but if you've never read the full lyrics of that song, it's time you did. So here are the complete song lyrics.
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

By Bob Dylan, 1963

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