When problems arise in the world there are often many people who propose solutions to them. But when the problems involve challenges like inequality, community health or intolerance often the people that are most equipped to actually solve these challenges are people who have experienced the problems themselves. The problem of intolerance is something that George Soros arguably understands quite well.
Soros was born to Jewish parents in Hungary in the 1930s. He lived during a time when people who shared his faith were being actively persecuted. As an adolescent he lived through what could be considered one of the scariest times in recent world history. According to Soros his family was only able to survive when through hiding their identities from people who wanted to harm them. They were also able to help other people do the same thing. Despite the fear that he must have felt as a member of a persecuted community in 1940s Hungary he also learned an important lesson that would guide the philanthropic work he would do as an adult. He learned that it was possible not to succumb to despair in the face of powerful malevolence. He learned that you could refuse to cower before malevolence, even when it is more powerful than you and that you can also manage to assist other people. This lesson of helping other people no matter what your own circumstances may look like is one that would arguably help to fuel one of the biggest projects that Soros would ever work on outside of his profession, and that is the Open Society Foundations. Know more on CNBC about George Soros.
Before coming to the United States he attended the London School of Economics where he worked his way through university as a waiter and a railroad porter. While many young people come to Wall Street hoping only to enrich themselves, as a young man George Soros came there understanding that what you do for others is much more important than what you can do for yourself. When Soros graduated from the London School of Economics he got on a boat headed towards the United States and landed in New York City where he took a job in the world of finance. This introduction to the world of finance is what would lead to him making the investments that would allow him to amass $26 billion in wealth today. Rather than keeping all of the money that he had earned to himself Soros would choose to use that money to help create solutions for problems that he acutely understood as a young Jewish man who had lived through persecution in Hungary. Soros would go on to start the Open Society Foundations that much as their name suggests, are dedicated to creating a better, more equitable world by promoting tolerance, education, civic engagement, civil rights and human rights. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com