Some people are collectors, some collect money, some collect animals. Many of us have watched in horror as reports crop up about this phenomenon. Individuals who have lost control of a situation and live in denial of their addiction create a mad and very sick environment for those they claim to love.

This addiction crops up anywhere and everywhere and is not  new, but because of today’s media construct it becomes the subject of increasing numbers of news articles and reports. Those of us who love life are horrified at videos allowing us to witness this pathetic mess. In one state a woman was found living in a small shack with  cats,  dogs, several sheep, a flock of chickens, a couple of cows and other farm animals. And, we’re told by those brave people who dealt with this at a ground level,  the  stench was  overpowering. Their eyes burned and stung. They couldn’t  breath.

Recently on Kauai a woman who loved horses but could neither feed nor care  nor part with them ended up clashing with the authorities. The horses have found new homes or are cared for at the Humane Society and a legal case is pending.

I, like many of you, love animals, but I am not a collector.  Tending my zoo is a full time job. Feeding, grooming and loving them can be challenging.  it costs me more to feed them than it does to feed me, and, I must confess, their beds are usually freshened up more often than mine.

My father taught me to love animals. My grandmother taught me to love money. I   remember her teaching me how money could earn money and I thought this a marvelous idea. I’m no fond of working too hard and I’d rather beat money than people. All money collecting needs is attention. Little physical sweat and labor is involved, it’s a mental trip. And so  began my collection; but, fortunately it did not become enormous or an obsession. Animals- and books, I must admit- thankfully got in the way.

What does this have to do with Warren Buffett? As a youngster Warren became fascinated with the idea of making money and with Warren, I would argue, his fascination became an obsession. An addiction. Yes, he’s a good man. He’s a devout believer in charity. His contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Charities  represent a large percent of  his holdings. But, I think, charity often makes big time money collectors feel more comfortable with their obsession. It certainly gives them  a feeling of worth and lots of attention.

In Hawaii we had Harry Weinberg, a dreadful man, but one who said when he was dying, “I had the fun of making it, now I’m gonna have the fun of giving it away.”

The point: I wish Warren and Bill and Melinda would consider investing their vast collection in industries that put people back to work. I wish they were more Henry Fords than money collectors. i wish they’d do a little more sweating and a little less thinking and back patting.


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