I can't even really conceive of what a billion dollars is in practical terms -- so the concept of having billions is completely unfathomable to me -- but if I did have access to that kind of cash, I'd like to think I'd be one of the people who's agreed to take part in The Giving Pledge. Conceived by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, the pledge enlists billionaires who promise to give half of their wealth to charity. That seems unfathomable to people living paycheck to paycheck, but I have to wonder if someone like Gates would even miss the 25 billion or so he'd be giving up.

There are 40 billionaires who've currently pledged to participate -- including one George Lucas. The film mogul often gets a bad rap from fans for ruining Star Wars with bad spin-offs and "revised" re-releases -- and we've all made jokes about him rolling around on beds covered with cash -- but this is a really great gesture on his part. See? Maybe all that money you spent on The Phantom Menace and Star Wars action figures and collectibles did serve a greater purpose. Take that, Mom!

Lucas joins other notable rich folk like Gates, Buffett, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, T. Boone Pickens, and more on the list. The Giving Pledge isn't a binding contract, and participants can freely donate more than 50% of their wealth if they choose (Buffett has pledged 99% of his -- hear that? it's the sound of his heirs groaning ... ) and can decide where it goes. Still, sounds like a nice gesture. Let's all remember this next time we're complaining about Lucas milking his franchises -- clearly he's just doing it so he has more money to give away one day.

[via MSNBC]