Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Some days I just need to get out of my own head and see what is going on in the rest of the world.  I stumbled across this little brain puzzler.  Karl Rabeder, an austrian multi-millionaire (approx $4.7 million to be more precise), decided to donate the bulk of his fortune to charity because living the five star life began to feel "soulless" and has traded it in for a 2-room flat and a monthly income of $1260.  He then says something like the worst thing that can happen to him is that he might have to get a part time job.  Whoa.  I really hope he is just talking about the job market because pretty much everything is harder for people who don't have a lot of money versus people who do.  This comment has me thinking he has not thought this through.  Part- time job means retail, more often than not, and that means dealing with the general public and that is just not fun.  He is in for a very rude awakening.

Later on in the article he reveals that  this revelation came to him when he was on vacation with his wife in Hawaii, but he is now divorced.  The article makes no mention of how the divorce came about or how she felt about his decision to donate all their money to charity.  I wonder if he only got to donate his half?  The article didn't say.

He is also quoted as saying, "My idea is to have nothing left.  Absolutely nothing.  Money is counter-productive--it prevents happiness."  Well, it appears he is well on his way.  He is minus one wife and several really nice estates.  I am willing to bet that a lot of the people that he thought were his friends have suddenly dropped off the radar, too.  Like runs with like and he isn't like anymore.  I hope he bought some really expensive body armor before he gave all his money away because he is probably going to need it.  If he'd really been thinking ahead he would have paid a therapist in advance for about five years worth of weekly visits. That is really going to cut into his monthly income because he is about to experience some culture shock he wasn't expecting.

Here is what I think happened.  He misinterpreted the lesson.  It happens to the best of us.  Heck, I've done it a lot.  I've just never done it with that kind of money.  The man had an eye-opening experience.  He said, "It was the biggest shock in my life when I realized how horrible, soulless, and without feeling the five-star lifestyle really is."  He equated the money and the lifestyle to be the same thing.  They aren't.  You can use money to fund a five-star lifestyle or you can use it to make the world a better place.  Some of you might be saying that is what he did by donating it to charity.  Yeah, but he did it peripherally; he didn't get in there. If he had personally made a difference in real people's lives ~ his soul could have gotten the boost that he was saying he needed.  He could have cut back his personal lifestyle to something more realistic and gotten the soul food he needed by using his money to actively make a difference in people's lives and being a part of it to see the wonderful, beautiful, rewarding changes that money can make.  Money isn't good or bad.  It's an instrument.  It's all in the way that you use it.

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