The Moment of Lift PDF Book by Melinda French Gates


Click here to Download The Moment of Lift PDF Book by Melinda French Gates Language English having PDF Size 1.5 MB and No of Pages 159.

We went to China and had a fantastic trip. My pregnancy didn’t affect things except for one moment when we were in an old museum in Western China and the curator opened an ancient mummy case; the smell sent me hurtling outside to avoid a rush of morning sickness—which I learned can come at any time of day! One of my girlfriends who saw me race out said to herself, “Melinda’s pregnant.”

The Moment of Lift PDF Book by Melinda French Gates

Name of Book The Moment of Lift
PDF Size 1.5 MB
No of Pages 159
Language English
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On the way home from China, Bill and I split off from the group to get some time alone. During one of our talks, I shocked Bill when I said, “Look, I’m not going to keep working after I have this baby. I’m not going back.” He was stunned. “What do you mean, you’re not going back?” And I said, “We’re lucky enough not to need my income. So this is about how we want to raise a family.


You’re not going to downshift at work, and I don’t see how I can put in the hours I need to do a great job at work and raise a family at the same time.” I’m offering you a candid account of this exchange with Bill to make an important point at the very start: When I first confronted the questions and challenges of being a working woman and a mother, I had some growing up to do.

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My personal model back then —and I don’t think it was a very conscious model—was that when couples had children, men worked and women stayed home. Frankly, I think it’s great if women want to stay home. But it should be a choice, not something we do because we think we have no choice. I don’t regret my decision. I’d make it again. At the time, though, I just assumed that’s what women do.

In fact, the first time I was asked if I was a feminist, I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t think of myself as a feminist. I’m not sure I knew then what a feminist was. That was when our daughter Jenn was a little less than a year old. Twenty-two years later, I am an ardent feminist. To me, it’s very simple.

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Being a feminist means believing that every woman should be able to use her voice and pursue her potential, and that women and men should all work together to take down the barriers and end the biases that still hold women back. This isn’t something I could have said with total conviction even ten years ago.

It came to me only after many years of listening to women—often women in extreme hardship whose stories taught me what leads to inequity and how human beings flourish. But those insights came to me later. Back in 1996, I was seeing everything through the lens of the gender roles I knew, and I told Bill, “I’m not going back.”

This threw Bill for a loop. Me being at Microsoft was a huge part of our life together. Bill cofounded the company in 1975. I joined Microsoft in 1987, the only woman in the first class of MBAs. We met shortly afterward, at a company event. I was on a trip to New York for Microsoft, and my roommate (we doubled up back then to save money) told me to come to a dinner I hadn’t known about. The Moment of Lift PDF Book

I showed up late, and all the tables were filled except one, which still had two empty chairs side by side. I sat in one of them. A few minutes later, Bill arrived and sat in the other. We talked over dinner that evening, and I sensed that he was interested, but I didn’t hear from him for a while. Then one Saturday afternoon we ran into each other in the company parking lot.

He struck up a conversation and asked me out for two weeks from Friday. I laughed and said, “That’s not spontaneous enough for me. Ask me out closer to the date,” and I gave him my number. Two hours later, he called me at home and invited me out for that evening. “Is this spontaneous enough for you?” he asked.

First, though, I should let you know that Hans Rosling was less taken with me than I was with him, at least at the start. In 2007, before we knew each other, he came to an event where I was going to speak. He was skeptical, he later told me. He was thinking, American billionaires giving away money will mess everything up! (He wasn’t wrong to be worried. More on that later. The Moment of Lift PDF Book

I won him over, he said, because in my remarks I didn’t talk about sitting back in Seattle reading data and developing theories. Instead, I tried to share what I’d learned from the midwives, nurses, and mothers I had met during my trips to Africa and South Asia. I told stories about women farmers who left their fields to walk for miles to a health clinic and endured a long.

Hot wait in line only to be told that contraceptives were out of stock. I talked about midwives who said their pay was low, their training slight, and they had no ambulances. I purposely didn’t go into these visits with fixed views; I tried to go with curiosity and a desire to learn. So did Hans, it turns out, and he started much earlier than I did and with greater intensity.

When Hans was a young doctor, he and his wife, Agneta—who was a distinguished healthcare professional in her own right—moved to Mozambique, where Hans practiced medicine in a poor region far from the capital. He was one of two doctors responsible for 300,000 people. They were all his patients, in his view, even if he never saw them—and usually he didn’t. The Moment of Lift PDF Book

His district had 15,000 births a year and more than 3,000 childhood deaths. Every day in his district, ten children died. Hans treated diarrhea, malaria, cholera, pneumonia, and problem births. When there are two doctors for 300,000 people, you treat everything. This experience shaped who he was and defined what he taught me.

After we met, Hans and I never attended the same event without getting time with each other, even if it was only a few minutes in the hallway between sessions. In our visits—some long, some short—he became my teacher. Hans not only helped me learn about extreme poverty; he helped me look back and better understand what I had already seen.

“Extreme poverty produces diseases,” he said. “Evil forces hide there. It’s where Ebola starts. It’s where Boko Haram hides girls.” It took me a long time to learn what he knew, even when I had the advantage of learning it from him. Nearly 750 million people are living in extreme poverty now, down from 1.85 billion people in 1990. The Moment of Lift PDF Book Download

According to the policymakers, people in extreme poverty are those living on the equivalent of $1.90 a day. But those numbers don’t capture the desperation of their lives. What extreme poverty really means is that no matter how hard you work, you’re trapped. You can’t get out. Your efforts barely matter. You’ve been left behind by those who could lift you up.

That’s what Hans helped me understand. Over the course of our friendship, he would always say, “Melinda, you have to be about the people on the margins.” So we tried together to see life through the eyes of the people we hoped to serve. I told him about my first foundation trip and how I came away with so much respect for the people I saw because I knew their daily reality would ruin me.

When I arrived at the project site, I was invited to watch a group of twenty-five pregnant women playing a quiz game on principles of good health, answering questions about early breastfeeding and first-hour newborn care. Then I met with a women’s group centered on pregnant women and their family members, mainly mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. The Moment of Lift PDF Book Download

I asked the pregnant women if they faced any family resistance for participating in the program. Then I asked the mothers-in-law what changes they’d seen since they’d been pregnant with their own children. One older woman told me that she had given birth to eight children at home, but six had died within a week of delivery.

Her daughter-in-law was now pregnant for the first time, and the older woman wanted her to receive the best possible care. In the afternoon, I was able to visit the home of a mother named Meena who had delivered a baby boy just two weeks before. Meena’s husband worked for daily wages near their home.

Their children had all been delivered at home except for the newborn, who was born in a clinic with the support of Sure Start. Meena held her infant in her arms as we talked. I asked Meena if the program had helped her, and she gave me an enthusiastic yes. She felt delivering in a clinic was safer for her and the baby, and she had started breastfeeding the same day. The Moment of Lift PDF Book Download

Which made her feel free to bond with her baby immediately, and she loved that. She was very animated, very positive. She clearly felt good about the program, and therefore so did I. Then I asked her, “Do you want to have any more children?” She looked as if I’d shouted at her. She cast her eyes down and stayed silent for an awkwardly long time.

I was worried that I’d said something rude, or maybe the interpreter had offered a bad translation, because Meena kept staring at the ground. Then she raised her head, looked me in the eyes, and said, “The truth is no, I don’t want to have any more kids. We’re very poor. My husband works hard, but we’re just extremely poor. I don’t know how I’m going to feed this child.

I have no hopes for educating him. In fact, I have no hopes for this child’s future at all.” When he and my mom were still young parents, my dad got a call from a friend of his who said, “You and Elaine [my mom!] have to go to Marriage Encounter for a weekend. Trust me. Just go. We’ll take care of the kids.” The Moment of Lift PDF Book Download

His friend, also Catholic, had just come back from doing a Church-sponsored workshop on communication and marriage, and he was euphoric about it. My dad was persuaded, so he discussed it with my mom, and she happily agreed. Of course she agreed. My mom believes in marriage, believes in retreats, and believes in the Church.

So naturally she’s going to do a retreat on marriage sponsored by the Church. My mom has done more than anyone else in forming and inspiring my spiritual life over many years. She goes to Mass five times a week. She reads, she goes to silent retreats, and she explores spiritual ideas with passion and openness and curiosity and has always encouraged me to do the same.

So it wasn’t news to me that my mom was eager to do a marriage retreat with my father. The news was that he was excited to go on a retreat with her. They went off for a weekend and came home even closer, saying it was one of the best things they ever did together. The moral of the story to me was that a man can call another man and share advice about how to improve their marriages. The Moment of Lift PDF Book Free

That men can play a role as guardians and supporters of the union. So I took my vows with the expectation that Bill would play a role in strengthening our marriage, and fortunately for me, he also had a good model for that in his father. Bill’s dad has always had a very strong belief in women’s equality, which was obvious to anyone who knew him, but we uncovered even more evidence of it a few years ago.

Bill Senior was participating in an oral history project, and the historian showed him an academic paper Bill Senior had written right after he returned to college following military service. The paper was dated December 12, 1946, just after Bill Senior’s twenty-first birthday, and includes this passage.

“The most outstanding idea in Gatesland is the idea of the perfect state in which women will have all equal rights to men. The female would be as common in the professions and business as the male, and the male would accept female entry into these fields as the normal rather than the abnormal event.” The Moment of Lift PDF Book Free

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