My grandfather was a high school physics teacher, and he loved teaching. One Christmas his kids asked for a swimming pool, and he decided to build it himself. He negotiated with subcontractors, did some research and built his own swimming pool. Neighbors and friends started asking him to build their pools, and my grandpa realized that he could make more money building pools than teaching physics. My grandpa Steimle slowly became an innovator in the swimming pool industry and started the most awarded swimming pool company in the U.S.- California Pools and Spas.
Starting his own company, didn’t make him rich at first, but in his later years he was able to provide a comfortable lifestyle for his family. Never ostentatious, he always was out looking for a deal- milking his senior citizen discount for all it was worth. He donated a great deal of money to charities and organizations, making huge strides for the City of Hope. His financial success not only benefited him but the community as well.
My grandfather worked hard, was innovative, and in turn reaped financial rewards. It’s self-reliance that made him successful not looking for the hand-out. (For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting me:I did not inherit some swimming pool fortune- due to a Y chromosome my grandfather's company is in 'other' hands. We'll just leave it at that.)
I have a friend who’s father is brilliant,hilarious, and very financially successful. He didn't inherit his wealth, but gained it through hard work, education, and tenacity. His family gives a great deal of money to charity, they are exceptionally generous and his daughters have the biggest hearts I’ve ever met. Again, his financial gain has benefited the less fortunate.
We all have sympathy for the poor, but you can’t ignore that the world needs Bill Gates, not just for software, but for his charitable contributions- his foundation. If you look around the best way to donate service is not to bake a casserole, but to donate money- and who has the money? The wealthy.
Why do we begrudge the well-off? Why is it when flames ravage a wealthy community in southern California people lack empathy because those that own the homes have wealth? Is it a mere case of the haves and the have nots?
The majority of evacuees in San Diego have not turned to the Government for help, they’ve turned to themselves, to friends and to family. Only ¼ of all evacuees are in government facilities. Is it because they have money that they are not in government facilities- or is it because they are not in government facilities that they have money?
The only way to escape poverty is to do it yourself, those that turn to the government for help will always be reliant upon others generosity and will never escape their poverty. Those that think they can do things themselves, taking responsibility for their own lives will be successful. By no means do I begrudge those that have had to take refuge in government facilities, for some there is no other option- but the difference between San Diego and other parts of the country is that turning to the government is not the first option, it's a last resort.
After hearing some comments this week about the lack of sympathy towards those loosing of their homes due to their financial status I ask: Why hate the rich and take joy in their misfortune, when the best way each of us can help the world right now is to write a check? It's the wealthy that contribute the most financial resources to the poor. These people pay far more taxes, and give a great deal more to charity than you or I ever could. We loose the wealthy, we loose welfare, we loose social security, we loose hand-outs. Before you take joy in the fires, realize that its your meal-ticket that's burning.