A True Story
Author Unknown
In Social Media, there are many touching articles and videos today which are simple but powerful, which go viral and inspire millions of readers/viewers, yet have unknown authors or producers, because they are simply forwarded, or copied-pasted without regard to by-lines and credits. This is one of them. I took the pains of transcribing the entire video narration into this article because articles sometimes have a wider audience than videos in Social Media. Also, I cannot even insert the video link here.


He lives with his wife in an ordinary rental apartment in the city of San Francisco. He never wears branded clothing, his glasses are trusted and aged, his watches are functional and unglamorous. He doesn’t have his own car. His primary means of transportation is the bus, and the bag he uses for work is an old plastic bag. But surprisingly, over the course of his life, he has donated more than $18 billion to charitable causes.


Who is this man? Well, his name is Chuck Feeney. He is frugal with himself but generous with others. He likes to make money but does not like to spend it on himself. Through his lifetime, he has contributed $588 million to Cornell University, and $125 million to the University of California and $60 million to Stanford University. Outside of the United States, he spend $1 billion renovating, and then building a further seven new universities in Ireland. Incredibly, he also founded a charity fund aimed at providing cleft-lip surgery for children in developing countries.


More incredibly still, Chuck never sought praise for his many contributions. He admirably never revealed his name in association with each donation, but asked for his donations to be made anonymously. Towards the end of his life, Chuck Feeney’s selfless and astounding deeds were revealed by the media.


When Chuck eventually did face the press and was asked the inevitable question of “Why did you choose to donate all of your wealth to charity?” Chuck Feeney simply smiled and said, “People are born naked, and then fianllly die alone.” And he continued, “No one can carry the wealth and reputation that he himself has been striving for, for a lifetime.” A reporter asked Chuck Feeney once more, “Why did you donate all of your fortunes?” Chuck Feeney smiled cheerfully and gave an unbelievable answer, beyond anyone’s imagination. “Because the corpse cover does not have a bag.”


Chuck Feeney has set an example for the rich all over the world. Two great American tycoons, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have attempted to adopt his way of thinking and strive to follow his actions.


“Think for the people while enjoying life at the same time,” Chuck Feeney said.


A Viewer’s Reflections


one must have purity of heart when giving
do not miss the opportunity to give
because life is short and there is a lot to do


You can be like the anonymous billionaire without being a billionaire. There is so much to give on the spiritual plain which can rival impact on the material plain. All we need is to give ourselves and our time to others. Some of these precious spiritual gifts we can ‘donate’ include – comforting others in pain, reversing depression into elation, despair into hope, greed into charity, hatred into forgiveness. We have so much power to change people, yet we do not know it.


There is so much we can do and give, but we often let it pass away in our daily concern for schedules and tasks. If you adopt an awareness of this type of gift giving into every minute of your busy day, you will realize how happy and peaceful you are, how you become less cranky and more forgiving, how harder it is to get ulcers or heart ailment, even cancer, which has spiritual causes.


You have to be selfless, no self-interest, no manipulation, no pretense, no deceit. You must be pure of heart. You must touch other people’s lives, inspire and uplift for their sake, not yours. Money is the last thing you can give.


The urge of Gates and Buffett to emulate Feeney, to replace profit making with fortune giving, reveals how much the spirit of giving can conquer the obsession for grabbing. Rockefeller envied Carnegie when he shifted from grabbing to giving by setting up a foundation. All of a sudden all the fortunes in the world was no longer important. Both tycoons established the largest foundations of their age. Yet, at one time, they were clawing and strangling and trying to acquire each other. There is a gray area between greed and generosity, and it takes effort to move from one towards the other, whether you are a tycoon or a commoner.


If you do this, believe me, you have one foot in heaven’s door.
Pass to friends via link –
Bernie V. Lopez,
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