'This Week' Transcript: The Giving Pledge

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B. GATES: Well, by 2012 we should be very close on polio. We're 99 percent of the way there if you measure by how many cases there were when this campaign started over 20 years ago. The last one percent is very difficult. And so we're spending a lot of time going around, meeting with political leaders, making sure that there's a little bit of innovation to even take the good old oral polio vaccine and make it somewhat more effective.

B. GATES: Well, urban poverty when you first see it can be a bit overwhelming -- the lack of sanitation, the small houses. And, of course, the kids are interested when our kids come in, because they look a little different and there's a lot running around. You know, just to see the way those kids live was eye-opening, and it's got them asking questions on an ongoing basis.

AMANPOUR: And how do you think the money that you and your wife have pledged to give away will make you a better citizen and will make the community a better place?

STEYER: Well, I mean, we didn't set out to deliberately make this money. We were just pursuing our professional interests. And we also have specific interests in aspects of our community where we feel strongly, where we thought there were things that we could do that would be both interesting and fun and hopefully have a good impact.

AMANPOUR: Such as?

STEYER: Well, we've tried to think exactly what links them together. I mean, the three things that we do really have to do with trying to work on sustainable energy, trying to work on sustainable agriculture, and trying to -- through a community bank, to put money back into poor community in the West Coast.

AMANPOUR: Is it because it makes you feel good? It enriches you? It helps you be happier?

STEYER: Well, I think pursuing interesting things that you think are valuable, that's what's fun in life. So do I -- that's what I think get fun out of, is trying to do hard, fun things.

AND IT'S THAT spirit THAT THE COUPLE wants TO PASS ONTO THEIR THREE KIDS.

STEYER: both my wife Katherine and I had received wonderful educations, and we want our kids to have an opportunity to learn in the same kind of great schools we did. But after that we feel like it's their responsibility to make their own life, to be who they want to be. Not to be our kids, per se, but to create their own reality.

AMANPOUR: And what was their reaction?

STEYER: Why are you telling this? We already figured this out long before you brought it up.

AMANPOUR: So smart.

STEYER: They were -- I think they were years ahead of us in thinking that they knew that being somebody's offspring is not the way to go through life.

16:45 AMANPOUR: your grandmother used to read you a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

STEYER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Do you remember it?

STEYER: it's about Ulysses after he comes back from the odyssey, after he is the king of Ithaca again and he decides to take all of his old men and set sail to try new places, new boundaries, see what they could do, and, you know, never to give up. And I thought that was -- she was 86, she had about a month to live. I thought that was a great attitude.

AMANPOUR: So never rest on your laurels.

STEYER: resting on your laurels is really boring. As long as you're trying something new and sailing into new seas, you have a chance to learn something and do something new, and that's what's really fun.

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