According to a legend, Buddha was born as a prince in a fancy palace. From the childhood he saw only rich and quiet life but it does not have any value for him, because he did not know anything else. And the young prince left his father’s palace in order to discover the world in poverty. Then he found his sources of income, got rich and recreated for himself a luxurious life in a palace. Years spent in poverty taught him to understand people’s needs and suffer. After he built his own wealth, und learned to be strong and independent. And finally after he understood himself and became really free, he found his fate in travelling again. And his wealth went to the ones who needed it more. He already received the biggest reward could be given from money: the opportunity to dispose of it in any way, even give it up knowing its price and making a conscious choice.
Do you think this case is too unique? Then here are couple of fresh stories about millionaires, who created wealth, spent it for making our world a better place and became happier.
Charles F. Feeney, USA
The first store of the company Duty Free Shoppers was opened in Hong Kong in 1960. It was the beginning of the triumphant way of the company grounders – Charles Fenney and Robert Miller. Today the chain consists of 420 duty-free shops in international airports and business centers. Charles Fenney created a wealth of 7,5 billion dollars and in 1998 was on the list of the wealthiest people in the world according to Forbes. But at this moment Fenney already handed the biggest part of his wealth into other hands.
Charles Fenney invested his shares of Duty Free into creation of a charity fund called The Atlantic Philanthropies. Organisations and individuals working on science, health and education development, civil rights promotion, support of older persona and talented students, can receive support from this fund.
The philanthropist does not like The Atlantic Philanthropies to be called as Fenney Fund. He already spent 8 billion dollars for grants and lump-sum payments but every time he insists he does not want any media and beneficiaries attention.
Today 86-years old Charles Fenney has about 2 million dollars and it will be enough for a long time . The millionaire goes with public transport and lives with his wife Helga in a rented house in San Francisco. Answering the questions how do they feel after they spent their wealth for charity, the couple says: “People tend to get nervous when they give away that much. But we think we managed it well”.
Karl Rabeder, Austria
Karl Rabeder was born in the poor family in Austria. From his youth he worked a lot in order to get to the beltway. And he managed it. Being 32 years old he made his first million of dollars. After another 15 years he became the owner of six private jets, collection of cars, luxurious villas in austrian Alps and France as well as an account in a Swiss bank worth of 4 million dollars. Once being on vacation with his wife of Hawaii, he understood that he got all he wanted and that money does not make him happy anymore. He was 47 years old at the moment.
The millionaire founded the non-profit organization MyMicroCredit and started to sell out his wealth and transfer money to its accounts. Raneder’s company credit the poor in Chile, Salvador, Honduras, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, all the poor people could get no bank loans. Frau Rabeder did not understand, why shall they get rid of all the property, left his husband but obviously that did not made him upset.
Today Karl Rabeder lives in a small rented apartment for $1350 in a month and sees himself as a totally happy man. He imposes to nobody his opinion, he thinks he does not have a right to give advices, because everyone should listen to his heart and make his choice. But if you ask him, what makes him happy, he will tell you: “Free time, self-esteem, love, sun and fresh air”.
Millard Fuller, USA
Unlike Karl Rabeder refusal of wealth has helped Millard Fuller save his family. 1959 a legal student Millard Fuller from Alabama University married Linda Colduell and swore to stay with her for richer, for poorer. After graduation he started a successful carriere. Being 29 years old Fuller, businessman and demanded lawyer became a millionaire with health and family issues. He wasted all his power to business matters and Linda needed something else and not only wealth from her husband. So she decided to leave him. In order to bring back the woman he loved Fuller agreed to give up the successful carriere of his own and sell out all previously accumulated. The couple donated to charity all the money from selling their property and moved into a Christian community.
Willing to help families that do not have money to buy real estate, Millard and Linda Fuller started a new not really lucrative but useful venue. Their new company constructed simply and affordable houses and the future owners could participate in the construction. The idea became really successful and 1976 Fullers founded a non-commercial organisation Habitat for Humanity. During its existence the fund constructed 300 000 houses for the poor from the entire the world. Fuller did not get after all to the list of the wealthiest people in the word. But Habitat for Humanity is on the list of 50 biggest US charity organisations. Its founder told once at the interview: “I am much more happier than ever by making money for other people and not for myself”.
Nicolas Berggruen, Germany, USA
The son of Heinz Berggruen, the famous collectioner and founder of the Berlin Art Museum, was born as a real citizen of the world, as it is said, with a golden spoon in his mouth. He was born in Paris, studied at New York University and lived in Germany. Family wealth did not make him a wastrel: he founded and led an investment company called Berggruen Holdings and a science and research center that bears his name and studies world political processes. Luxurious cars, air jets, paintings of great masters – all that proofs of the status were in his life as well as his wealth of 3 billion dollars.
He had no further interest in multiplicating his collection of treasures. Being 39 years old Nicolas Bergguen sold out the biggest part of his wealth including real estate and started to invest in project fruitful in terms of the world wellbeing. Among them a wind power generation developers in Turkey, agricultural production in Australia, renovation of the world poorest megapolises.
Today Nicolas Bergguen is 56 years old and he is as free as wind. He has no family, no property, no obligations. He has a couple of worn out suits, shirts and jeans in his suitcase. And with this suitcase he is travelling from one hotel to another searching for new ideas worth of his help: “I plan to support projects ables to solve problems of our complicated world”.
Jinchun Liu, China
2014 media reported a story about a 38 years old chinese businessman Liu Jinchun from Guandun province, who traded a successful career and a city life for the life of mountain hermit.
Four years ago Liu Jinchun was rich. Being 38 years old he occupied a prestigious post of managing director of the chinese textile manufacturer in Guandun province. He was a shareholder, successful businessman and villa and car collection owner.
Once he went with his friend on car drive. A car accident pushed them to change the route. Car accident victims needed an assistance and they need another car vehicle to continue the drive. Jinchun who has only surface contusions booked a room in a hotel. And its was the place where he found a book about buddhism forgotten by someone else. Of course it was not possible to live in China, be chinese and did not hear about this philosophy. But exactly at this time point he got close to the thought that race for material possessions brings only suffer.
Liu Jinchun has sold everything he had and became a hermit in Jgunnal mountains. Two years he spent alone and studied holy books, and in 2016 he found a permanent accommodation for himself. Now he is a monch and serves in Baochan temple in Anchoi province. In accordance to Jinchun his choice was made by the desire to avoid the race for material possessions and not the human interaction. “I like meeting people who are looking for something bigger and I am happy when I can share my experience”
Asgat Galimzyanov, Russia, Tatarstan
In the far 1956 a twenty year old Asgat Galimzjanov has completed his military service and started to work as policeman. His work with offenders look this way: instead of arresting drunk people he brought them home in order they don’t freeze and get in trouble. Und he was fired very soon for such a free understanding of his work obligations. Since that time he started to work on Kazan market: he was delivering goods and freights with a dray with his horse harnessed called Orlik. And here he also set his own rules. He didn’t throw away all the wastes but used it to feed piglets. Entrepreneurs were not welcomed in Soviet Union and Galimzjanov decided to do everything secretly.
He digged an underground room, connected it to electricity, made by hand and installed an automatic drinking bowl, a cleaning mechanism and bought piglets.
Surprisingly, but he was interested in money at all and it simply flew to his hands. With earnings from his secret farm he bought fruits, learning accessories and warm clothes for children from orphanages. He provided with buses 73 children institutions and nursing homes. He transferred to Peace Fund a sum equal to several million dollars.
Galimzjanov activities became known during the last years of his life, he was grated with honors and medals, but he continued to lead a very humble life.
In 2008 a new sculpture was constructed in Old Kazan. It is a bronze monument of a benefactor which has a similarity to the honor citizen of Kazan Asgat Galimzjanov. It shows a middle-aged carrier in a simple cloth with a horse and a dray with children on his side. All his 79 years he had a happy life because he could tell to himself: “I have carried out my single mission to help people”.
Banvarlar Doshi, India
The Indian plastic production company DR International is well know in the entire world and has such partners like Samsung and LG. Its founder Barnaval Doshi has made 600 million dollars in 2015, became a father of three children and the owner of unspoken title of a Plastic King. For a long time hardly someone knew that one of the most successful businessman tends to asceticism and spiritual enlightenment. Doshi tried to retire already in 2012 but his family persuaded him to change his plans.
In summer 2015 the millionaire publicly announced his decision impressed a lot of people: he decided to take the monastic line and celibacy.
Barnaval Doshi donated all his wealth to charity organizations overseen by Jainists order. It is an old religious indian school. It’s followers (Jains) are sure that all live beings on the Earth are inviolable and have immortal spirit. That is the reason why the Jain Barnaval Doshi will go barefoot till the end of his life in order not to harm any insect.