Bill and Melinda Gates have made the most of their relative retirement by launching the Gates Foundation. Their mission is to help the neediest of needy with what most shapes their world: health and education. They've also famously allocated a mere $10 million per head inheritance to each of their children. This isn't much for the (once) richest man in the world.
If all rich folk were like Bill and Melinda, the world would be a much different place. And most likely, much better. And I am equating the word "better" with socioeconomic fairness. This doesn't even nudge the realm of racism, classism, sexism, and religious bigotry. Or the plight of much wealthier nations: discrimination based upon social groups or Ivy League schools.
The Gates' have chosen to give to assist in the improvement of the bare necessities of the needy, the base of Maslow's Hierarchy.
Why is it that they have become famous for this? Of course, because they want to be. They want to attract donors beyond themselves. They've also become famous for this because its rather rare.
A study recently conducted at UC Berkeley has concluded that the rich are indeed more selfish than the poorer amongst us. One can easily state that this is likely due to empathy and not much more than that.
The study gathered participants from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, the rich were both born into their prodigal lives and self made. The study paired participants anonymously and gave them each 10 "credits". They had to then give a portion of their credits to their partner. Those at the bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum gave away, on average, 44% more credits than the wealthy.
This study would be hugely helpful in the fight for a national healthcare system. Unfortunately, it will preach to the choir, and fall on the wealthiest and most deaf ears.
It's hard to believe that you're selfish. Especially when everything in your life looks so damned good.