This is a story of an amazing man called Bai Fang Li from Tianjin, China, where when you read his story you will definitely believing more in the goodness of man and humanity, and overwhelmed with emotion at this true story of a truly great man who lived a life of selfless generosity.
Mr. Bai Fang Li was a trishaw peddler in the city of Tianjin, China. It is not known when he started, but he has supported hundreds of poor students using the money he earned from peddling his trishaw. In his lifetime, he contributed more than 350,000 yuan (approximately 55,000 US dollars) to finance more than 300 poor students in their tuition fees and living expenses, helping them to complete their studies.
His daughter recalls “He suffered throughout his life, saving on food and drinks, stitching his torn pants over and over again. When you throw away his old pants and buy new ones for him, not only does he not want to wear them, but he also gets angry at us for ‘wasting money’.”
According to Bai Fang Li, he has never bought any clothes. All the clothes that he wore, he picked up from the clothes people threw away at dumpsites. Sometimes he even wore different shoes on both his feet!! The same applied to food. His children remember an incident when he simply picked up a bun and said to his children, “what is so hard about this? This bun is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it; isn’t this a way to reduce wastage?” When asked about what he expected of the children he sponsored, his humble reply was “I only want them to study hard, get a good job, be a good person and to give back to the country.”
In May 2005, Bai Fang Li was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and passed away on 23 September 2005 at the ripe old age of 94. Thousands turned up for his funeral. He may have gone but he leaves behind a beautiful legacy of the kindness and generosity of one man who has in a sense renewed our faith in humanity.
Taken from: Heera August Newsletter.
p/s: If only all of the people around the world can be as generous as Bai Fang Li. Especially the leaders.