Posted by: yacamru | 24 January, 2011

From millionaire to aid worker

Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy.

The 47-year-old Rabeder made his fortune by selling interior furnishings and accessories, but told U.K. the The Daily Telegraph in February 2010 “My idea is to have nothing left, absolutely nothing. Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come.”

“For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness,” Rabeder said. “I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years.”
After a while, however, he felt he was working “as a slave for things I did not wish for or need” adding, “I have the feeling that there are a lot of people out there doing the same thing.”

What brought him to his current conclusion? A three-week vacation with his wife in Hawaii, plus gliding trips to South America and Africa left him with feelings of guilt, he said, and the sense that there was a connection between his wealth and the poverty of the people he saw.
“It was the biggest shock of in my life, when I realized how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is”.

Since selling off some of his possessions, with lots more looking for buyers, Rabeder says he has felt “free, the opposite of heavy,” which was the feeling all his wealth gave him.

All his money will go to the non-profit Mymicrocharity, which Rabeder says he has set up to offer small loans to needy people in Central and South America, and to encourage development and self-employment in the region.

Here is the video that summarizes this incredible story.

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