Nowadays, not only we are bombarded with information of all kinds, but we are also swamped with goods and items, most of which we don’t need. We are often encouraged to buy things that will supposedly make our lives easier, but they further complicate it instead. In an attempt to encourage you to hold on to what matters at Paul’s Removals, we made a list of people who thought having too much is not worth it in the end, removed themselves from the limelight and gave their fortune away in order to have a a simple and frugal life, or to be in service of others!
Charles “Chuck” Feeney
Coming from a modest background and raised in New Jersey during the Great Depression, Chuck Feeney enrolled at Cornell University where “his flair for business was discovered”. Together with another Cornell University alumni, Miller, Feeney started selling different goods to duty free – without tax. Not long after that, the two partners established DFS – Duty Free Shoppers, which became a global retail giant. Feeney’s wealth was estimated at around $1,3 billion, but as he stated it himself he didn’t want “money to consume his life”. He gave away a huge chunk, 38%, of his share in DFS to a charitable organization he established, the “Atlantic Philantropies”. He always believed he earned his wealth only to be able to help people, and after all he has accomplished he still wears a $15 watch and owns neither a home, nor a car.
A well-known and loved American comedian, Dave removed himself out of the limelight, turned his back on the multi-million dollar contract he had at the time, and disappeared in South Africa for a while. He moved back to the States where he now lives with his family in rural Ohio, where he ownes 65-acre farm, never to return to show business again. In his own words: “Turns out you don’t need $50 million to live around these parts, just a nice smile and a kind way about you.”
When the Philadelphia teacher Zell Kravinsky borrowed some money to buy a property, he probably didn’t expect to end up with a property portfolio worth tens of millions of dollars. He earned a huge fortune, which would’ve allowed him to do whatever he wanted and move wherever he pleased, instead he slowly gave it away to health care organisations and charities and in 2003 he donated his own kidney to a complete stranger. That’s selfless and brave!
As a founding member and a promising song-writer for Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett’s removal from the show business was a shocker to all fans of the band. As reported, after he left the band in its prime, Barrett continued to write songs for some time, before he fully removed himself from the public eye, moving to Cambridge where he lived with his mother for a while and spend 30 years gardening, painting, cycling and trying to live a life as low-key as possible.
Famous for his height (231 cm or 7 ft 7 in) and exceptionally long limbs, a lot of people know Manute was one of NBA’s all time shot blockers. Some believe he killed a lion with his bare hands, but these are not even the achievements. Little is known, that Bol gave his life for freedom. Money is known to change people and rarely for the better. According to Edgar Bronfman “to turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” Manute Bol had every chance and good reason to do that latter part – but he didn’t! Instead he displayed a heart of gold and gave all his fortune away to help orphans, victims of the war and the resistance movement. He once said:
“When peace comes to Sudan,I will know that I did something good. I’m not going to give up you know, I’m going to try and fight,fight,fight”
On his funeral a number of people paid tribute to Bol, including Sam Brownback, Rory Sparrow, Robert McFarlane, Manute Bol’s family patriarch, Bol Bol Chol and Manute’s uncle who said: “Manute was a symbol of unity and reconciliation”.
This man hardly fits in the group of the above mentioned for one simple reason. He gave all he did NOT have. If you’ve heard the names of the above mentioned this is because they were rich and famous once. Dobry Dobrev is a nearly 100 year-old man who lives in the small country of Bulgaria and begs everyday in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the capital city of Sofia. He never keeps what he earns, but gives it all away to churches and orphanages that have been neglected and are in need of renovation. One of our marketing executives who speaks the language translated for us a very interesting fact. After a little research it was found that Dobry Dobrev is actually Alexander Nevsky Cathedral’s second biggest benefactor. The first was the last Bulgarian king.
Dobrev, himself, has lost nearly all his hearing during World War II and probably with it, his desire to attach himself to material possessions. He gave all of the little he had to the Orthodox church and moved into a small extension of the parish church. There he lives off his pension of €80 a month, surrounded by just as much furniture as he needs, and wears home-made clothes. Hats off to this unsung hero!
The example of these people show us there are more important things than money and material possessions. There is more to the big house and the fancy car. What matters is how we’ve treated others and whether we’ve made an impact on someone else’s life. This is one of Paul’s Removals core values too! To treat each and everyone of our customers generously with respect and integrity. As for the rest, a famous song by Train goes like this: “Give it away, give it away, give it away, if it’s something that you got layin’ round your house! Man, let me tell you if it ain’t a kiss, it’s something you’ll never miss”Tags: frugal life, give away, simple living