Everyday Legends: What Can a 103-Yr-Old Bulgarian Teach Us About Wealth?

A Dose of Inspiration To Get Your Day Going..

By Kris Deichler, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

Have you ever heard the saying, never judge a book by its cover? It’s one that we probably hear often when we learn, time and again, that appearances can be very deceiving.

To many it’s likely that Mr Dobre Dobrev would have looked like an old and scruffy homeless man with little or no worth to society, however, this simple and humble Bulgarian man became known as Grandpa Dobre or The Saint of Bailovo. To all appearances, he wasn’t a very ‘wealthy’ man at all, but there was a lot more to him than might have met the eye.

Born in 1914, he lived until February 2018 (nearly 104 years old) and spent the last 18 years or so of his life walking 20 km from his village every day to beg on the streets of his local town, not for himself, but to raise money for the local orphans. He himself lived very simply off a meagre pension and gave every cent he earned from his begging away, keeping nothing for himself and raising in total around 40,000 Euros!

The message here is not that we must all now sell and give everything away to charity, but to consider what is most important in our life.

To Grandpa Dobre, above all else, it was love and kindness far more than money and possessions. How many of the most essential things in life are the intangible things, such as love, happiness, energy, creativity, courage, passion etc? Yet how often do we put the material things first?

Grandpa Dobre is a reminder to put the most important things in life first - to get our priorities in the right place and to live better with that perspective. The true measure of wealth, as many a wise man would say, is what’s inside of us, not outside of us.

It doesn’t have to take much to start living a truly wealthy life for any of us. We can give some of our time, or energy as much as money. So the next time someone asks you for a favour, or there’s an opportunity to extend yourself for someone that you might otherwise have ignored - think about Grandpa Dobre and what kind of person you want to be. How could you go out of your way a little more for people every day?

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How much do we need to have to give to others? Find out here...


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