There’s a great story over at NPR about a homeless man who surprised them by leaving them $4 million dollars when he died. He had to money to live luxuriously, but instead he lived the simplest life possible:
“When Walters retired, he evidently retired from the world of material comforts. He didn’t have a car.
“He just gave up all of the material things that we think we have to have,” Belle says. “You know, I don’t know how we gauge happiness. What’s happy for you might not be happy for me. I never heard him complain.”
Evidently, among his few possessions was a radio. Hence those announcements listeners hear now and again on NPR stations.”
He also donated smaller sums of $400,000 to various non-profit organizations, including a Catholic mission where his best friend worked.
“Belle stayed with Walters when he was ill. She became his nurse and ultimately the executor of his estate — as well as one of the beneficiaries — despite fundamental differences between them.
“He was an atheist and I’m a very profound practicing Catholic, and I’d never met an atheist,” Belle says. “And that just blew my mind that somebody could not believe in the Lord.””
I really love seeing stuff like this, but especially when it involves an atheist. It’s only more proof that you don’t need to be religious to be a good, charitable, self sacrificing human being.
And an extra special bonus? He was a Purdue alumnus! Go Boilermakers for producing the occasional awesome person.