Chuck Feeney has recently been in the news for an accomplishment that very few people have done. Earlier in life, he became a billionaire. While it’s true that not very many people do that, his accomplishment is even rarer. Over the course of the past 40 years or so, he gave away almost all of his wealth, roughly $8,000,000,000, to various charities.
Some have come to be benefactors
Nowadays, when anyone travels internationally, they are likely to find a duty-free shop in the airport. The goods sold there are free from taxation, because they are going to be used or consumed in another country. It’s like a chance to purchase something at a lower cost because you have already purchased a plane ticket. I’m telling you this to tell you how Chuck Feeney became a billionaire. He and Robert Miller started a chain of duty-free stores in international airports around the world. This company became known as Duty Free Shoppers or DFS.
He did his best to give in secret
Some have come to be benefactors. Many philanthropists desire to be known for their giving. Chuck Feeney was not afflicted with this desire. His foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, didn’t have his name on it. Atlantic Philanthropies gave money to projects in education, science, health care, aging and civil rights. These projects are in the U.S., Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda, South Africa and Ireland.
Feeney was remarkably successful in keeping his giving hidden until 1996. Feeney sold his stake in DFS to luxury goods firm LVMH in 1996. There was a dispute with his partner Robert Miller over the sale. This led to Feeney’s once-secret philanthropy being exposed in the run-up to a court challenge. Because of his wide travels and unpublicized giving, he became known as the “James Bond of philanthropy.”
Does money make you wealthy?
Some have come to be benefactors. The New Message from God has a radical approach toward money and wealth. Wealth is knowing what to do with what you have. Wealth is giving to something you know to be self-evident, but needing all the love you can give. Consider this sentence from Step 160 of the 365 steps in Steps to Knowledge. Steps to Knowledge is the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God. I have written a review of Steps to Knowledge here.
“Do not think that those who possess more objects than you are in any way wealthier than you are, for without Knowledge they are impoverished and will acquire things only to offset their misery and uncertainty. Thus, their
impoverishment is compounded by their acquisition.”
I recently read this paragraph from the revelation “The Coming Financial Storms,” and I thought of Chuck Feeney.
“Look at the very wealthy with pity, for they have lost contact with the power of Knowledge in so many ways. And those that have rediscovered Knowledge will naturally become benefactors for humanity, for anyone who has great wealth must become a benefactor to humanity. Some people were sent into the world to do just this. Everyone must serve the well-being of humanity, but this well-being is now being challenged as never before.”
Who knows, maybe Chuck Feeney was sent into the world to do just this. I sincerely hope that other billionaires will follow in his footsteps.
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