The owner of a restaurant in Georgia decided to practice humility rather than fury at a suspected burglar.
He offered the burglar a job
Security camera footage at a Diablo’s Southwest Grill in Georgia caught a man bursting into the restaurant and stealing what he could gather. But in a surprising twist, the owner wasn’t upset.
“Our burritos are such a smash hit we’ve got people breaking in at 4am for their fix,” wrote owner Carl Wallace in a Facebook post. “So if ya see our door looking hurricane fabulous at Wheeler Rd this is why.”
Wallace continued, offering compassion to the suspect. “To the would-be robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues… please swing by for a job application. There are better opportunities out there than this path you’ve chosen.”
Wallace then offered his personal cell phone number and assured the burglar that police wouldn’t be called.
“Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you’re on.”
Customers loved it
The post has received more than 4,500 reactions and an outpouring support from the public as well as customers.
“I saw a Facebook page on Connect Augusta, and I thought it was probably one of the best things that I had ever read,” customer Cher Best told WRDW. “So as a result of what I read and the compassion, that was part of that Facebook post, I wanted to support the business.”
A Facebook comment from Liz Bellmer read: “I know what I’m having for lunch….as a small business owner who recently had to close my doors because of loss of revenue due to COVID, I appreciate your civility and your way of seeing this. We need more people like you who try to put a positive spin on crappy situations. Positivity should always win.”
Turning the other cheek
Wallace said the burglar didn’t steal much — just some cash from the register. But the risk he took was extremely high.
“They’re risking so much every time they do this: to the business owner, to themselves, or what could happen if the police show up during the process of the break-in,” he told WRDW.
The break-in was on Easter weekend, and Wallace added that was one of the reasons that he and his team decided to be compassionate.
“Instead of having the normal response of being angry, we decided to reach out, and say this is a bad career path that you’re on, and we’re willing to offer you a job if you’re willing to change what you’re doing in life.”
Doing the right thing
Is one man’s compassion going to fix the systemic problems that led this burglar to want to rob a burrito restaurant — no. But it does have the capability to change the trajectory of a life, and at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can really hope for.
Throughout the ages, books have provided spiritual guidance, life lessons, entertainment, education, sparked social and political changes, allowed us to escape the drudgery of every day and quite literally changed the course of history.
Now we’re taking a look at some of the all-time best-selling books and the universal life lessons they have brought to millions of readers worldwide.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The 7-instalment series has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide since it first hit shelves back in 2007. In fact, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone alone sold 120 million copies worldwide. An entire generation has grown up reading the beloved books detailing the adventures of boy wizard Harry and his friends with million of adults regularly rereading them.
A tale of friendship, overcoming hardship, heartbreak, bravery and discovering who you truly are, especially in the face of adversity, J.K. Rowling‘s genius has helped countless children (and adults) deal with bullies, deep loss, the awkwardness and dangers of teenage years, while staying true to yourself and becoming the hero of your own story. Plus, let’s not forget that Rowling herself has donated so much to charity she lost her (well-earned) billionaire status.
“If you want to know what a man is like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
First published in post-war Britain as a trilogy, the wildly popular series and now pop-culture fixture, has sold 150 million copies since. If we factor in prequel The Hobbit, that figure jumps to 250 million copies. Many of the themes explored in Harry Potter are also present in Lord of the Rings, but with a much more adult treatment. Among the masterpiece’s most important lessons are the power mercy and acceptance that we cannot control the universe.
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
140 million copies sold since its debut in the ’40s, this masterpiece is yet another evergreen book, beloved regardless of the age of the reader. “It is only with the heart one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye,” is one of those quotes we often come across, but it’s just one of countless life lessons dotting the pages of Le Petit Prince.
One of the greatest powers of de Saint-Exupery’s creation is to effortlessly teach children how to be good people. The other is to remind adults of those lessons. Whether it’s the importance of building healthy relationships, caring for the environment, caring for ourselves and our emotional well-being, not encroaching on our loved ones’ freedom, looking beyond the surface and the obvious, the danger of ignoring or numbing our pain, Le Petit Prince truly prepares everyone for adulthood — both young and old.
“Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more.”
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Intended as a children’s book, this series has surpassed 120 million copies worldwide, enjoying a renaissance after receiving the movie treatment. While the adventures of children and talking animals may not seem all that to adults, the power of books is one that children should be introduced early on.
A man raised in a religious family who lost his faith and regained it later in life, Lewis’ most famous work explores many religious and spiritual themes, among them the power of faith and belief, responsibility and the consequences of our actions, and not least the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation and resilience.
“But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did.”
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
More than 50 million sold copies have cemented Charlotte’s Web as an all-time best-seller. The beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking books is yet another childhood favorite — a common theme, it seems, for global favorites with lessons for all. Similarly to the previous entries in our list, Charlotte’s Web teaches both young and old about the value of friendship, patience, of second chances, humility, gratitude and consistency.
It also warns of shallowness, of the consequences of prejudice and fear born from lack of understanding. It celebrates compassion, imagination, the company of friends and encourages us to look beyond the surface and to ask for help when we need it. Above all though, it celebrates life, diversity and resilience.
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing…after all, what’s a life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die…By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
In many people’s minds, a high net-worth is synonymous with big spending and an extravagant lifestyle.
There are many who prove this to at least be partially true. However, several of the world’s most wealthy are not only apt living humble lifestyles, many go to lengths of giving large portions of their fortune away to various charitable organizations.
Money is important. Enough of it can be life changing. There’s no arguing that point (not that many people will).
But how important is it really? Specifically, what does it tell us of the importance or function of money when some of the ultra-wealthy (I’d argue the more enlightened) use so little of it and give the lion’s share of their wealth away to those in need?
You could argue that, “Yeah, well, it’s easy for them. They have nothing to worry about.” That’s a valid point. Studies have shown that where money really makes us happy is when we go from stressing over a lack of to having enough to cover all our basic expenses (about $75,000 a year for most people living in the U.S. today). Anything more than that doesn’t make much difference in or well-being. In other words, it’s not about what we want (money) so much as it is about what we don’t want (the stress of not having it).
Some wealthy spend to attempt to fill a hole in their being which can never truly be filled with material possessions. They’re searching for love, or a sense of self-worth, in all the wrong places.
But the example that these humble billionaires set is in line with this idea of money we just spoke about. And it tells of something more: that once we have enough, we have what is arguably a responsibility to give to others so that they might also rise up from below the tide of hardship, whether economic or otherwise.
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
– Saint Augustine
Whatever you believe about money, here are eight billionaires who are so humble they’ll make you completely rethink your priorities.
1. David Cheriton – Stanford professor
David Cheriton, one of the more unique billionaires on this list as he made his fortune almost entirely by investing in Google early on ($1.3 billion of it), hates the idea of living extravagantly.
“I’m actually quite offended by that sort of thing…These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there’s something wrong with them,” Cheriton told the Edmonton Journal.
Cheriton’s most recent big-ticket purchase? A 2012 Honda Odyssey.
2. Tony Hsieh – Zappos CEO
Zappos’s Tony Hsieh is one of the most well-known CEOs alive today, even in the scope of the Silicon Valley tech age. However, what many don’t know is how modestly he lives.
After selling the advertising network LinkExchange he founded in 1996, instead of living it up he invested all of the money into a new project and continued working to turn Las Vegas, Nevada into a bustling new tech hub.
According to those close to him, Hsieh’s lifestyle hasn’t changed since his early days in business. Erik Moore, an early Zappos investor, said “Money just doesn’t matter to him. If he only had a million dollars left, he’d spend $999,999 to make Vegas work. He would be just as happy with a dollar in the bank and being around people he cares about and care about him.”
3. Christy Walton – Philanthropist
As the widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, Christy Walton (formerly Tallant) inherited part of her husband’s fortune along with their son when he passed. Today, she’s said to have a net worth of roughly $7.3 billion. But it’s what she’s done with that fortune that has defined her legacy as an individual.
Over the past two decades, Walton has given several billion dollars to various charitable foundations one of which is the Walton’s own organization, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and serves several foundations in various capacities including The Philanthropy Roundtable and San Diego Zoological Society.
When her son Lukas was born, it was her goal to give him a normal childhood, so they lived in the primarily blue-collar National City, California where he could receive exactly that. She now lives quietly in Jackson, Wyoming, still dedicating her efforts to charity.
4. Warren Buffett – CEO and Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
Everyone knows Warren Buffett and has heard of his astronomical wealth. But what many don’t know is that he’s notoriously frugal to the point of being ritualistic, despite being worth nearly $50 billion.
Each morning, he drives himself to work in a gold cadillac. Before getting to the office, he picks up one of three different breakfast items at McDonalds, the most expensive of which amounts to a whopping $3.17.
In addition to this, he gives billions of dollars of his wealth to various charitable foundations, several of which were started by his children, who have each went on to devote themselves to causes which are close to their heart.
5. Carlos Slim Helú – Honorary chairman, América Móvil
With an estimated net worth of $67.1 billion as of 2018’s most recent numbers, former Telmex CEO Carlos Slim could do virtually anything he’d like. However, he chooses to live humbly.
Slim still lives in the same modest 6-bedroom house that he and his family lived in for the past 30 years and, like Buffett, he still drives himself to work each day.
And at work, where he manages billion-dollar companies, he doesn’t even have a computer in his office, choosing instead to manage his businesses with an old-fashioned paperwork system.
6. Amancio Ortega – Zara founder
Fashion retailer Zara has been on the rise even as other companies in the industry have fallen. But founder Amancio Ortega hasn’t let it get to his head.
Ortega, who has a net worth of nearly $61 billion (which has grown by over $25 billion in just the past seven years), lives in a small apartment in La Coruna, Spain and wears the same 3-piece suit virtually every single day.
In addition, each morning he visits the same local coffee shop and every afternoon he eats with fellow Zara employees at the company cafeteria.
7. Azim Premji – Chairman, Wipro Limited
As the “Czar of Indian tech” and chairman of tech-service giant, Wipro Limited, Azim Premji’s wealth ($20.5 billion) is positioned to increased to ever greater heights in the coming years.
But Premji isn’t living lavishly. In fact, he’s been described as making “Uncle Scrooge look like Santa Claus” by a Bangalore tech executive who worked for the chairman.
Premji drives a 1996 Ford and personally drives a three-wheel auto rickshaw (a 3 wheel hooded vehicle primarily seen in Asian countries) when arriving home from business trips. He even reportedly monitors the exact number of toilet paper rolls used in his Wipro corporate buildings to save money.
But perhaps most impressive is that Premji is listed fifth on the list of those who have given the greatest sums of money to charity in the world, his personal contribution at over $8 billion.
8. Chuck Feeney – Co-founder, DFS Group
Chuck Feeney may be the most incredible example of generosity and humility of billionaires alive today. But his net worth is reported to be just $2 million. So, why is he on the list?
By 2016, Feeney and wife Helga had given away roughly $8 billion, more than 99.99% of their fortune to a vast collection of charitable causes supporting things such as higher education, human rights, and scientific research.
The money was earned in large part by Feeney and his partner’s duty-free airport shops which sold items such as cigar and brandy to travelers as well as early investments in companies such as Facebook.
“Giving while living” was always Feeney’s goal, however, he didn’t do it for praise or recognition. In fact, Atlantic Philanthropies, a collection of private foundations he personally founded and funded, required that their donations remain anonymous.
He and his wife Helga now live in a modest apartment in San Francisco with their remaining $2 million savings, Feeney having accomplished his monumental goal exactly as he intended all along.
Tanishq Abraham got international media attention in 2015 when, at only 11, he graduated with no less than three college degrees from Sacramento’s American River College. And yes, he was the youngest graduate in the history of the college, and yes, he graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
But thanks to his loving family and confidence in his abilities, even at 11, Tanishq was cool and collected, telling CBS San Francisco “Even on the first time I came to a college class, I wasn’t really nervous, so, this isn’t much of big thing to me.” And in case you’re wondering, Tanishq graduated high-school at 10.
But Tanishq was barely getting started. A year later, news outlets covered how the then-12-year-old kid got acceptance letters from both the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of California Davis.
But Tanishq spoke about how at first students are generally a little confused by his presence in class, “but once they get used to me, they don’t treat me that differently. We’re all just friends and have fun,” per NBC News.
That doesn’t mean Tanishq wasn’t pumped about continuing his studies, saying “I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time now. I’ll finally be working on my bachelor’s.” And work he did, graduating less than two months ago with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at UC Davis – with honors, of course. In fact, his undergraduate research work on revolutionary new drug delivery methods landed Tanishq his first author’s credit.
And although he won’t officially start his doctoral studies in biomedical engineering till later this year, Tanishq – who just turned 15 – is already taking graduate courses. Then again, considering his drive and the fact he’ll be attending as a Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Fellow, it’s not that surprising. Neither is the fact that he’s a member of two of the most prestigious honor societies in the U.S: Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa.
Just like other kids
What may be surprising to some is how much like other youngsters Tanishq is. His team’s design project was inspired by Star Trek tricorders and consists of a prototype device that measures heart rates by only scanning the patient – no touching is involved, something that could revolutionize treatment protocols for burn patients. And long before he was actively working on new treatments, Tanishq’s passion for learning was ignited by something countless kids love: dinosaurs.
He’s also rather active on social media, just like any other teen and likes to take joking jabs at his parents, laughing about their dislike for his all-nighters or taking shots at their supposed obsolescence. “You can still get a lot of knowledge and ideas from older people,” Tanishq said in an interview featured on US Davis’ webpage but couldn’t resist laughingly tacking on a little jibe. “Even my parents.”
Setting his bar high
And what’s next after he nabs his Ph.D.? An M.D., of course. And after this real-life Dougie Howser becomes a full-blown doctor and discovers a life-changing protocol to help humanity? Tanishq has his eye on the presidency, something he’s been vocal about for years – like so many other kids.
Met 14-year-old, soon-to-be UC Davis biomedical engineering graduate, Tanishq Abraham, and his family today. What an impressive young man! pic.twitter.com/IrAUxu2Puz
As for Tanishq’s younger sister Tiara, many may think of what a burden it would be to grow up in the shadow of a genius brother. But parents Dr. Taji Abraham, a veterinarian, and Bijou Abraham, a software engineer, are proud and supportive parents who encourage their kids to have fun and explore the world and knowledge at their own pace.
“In spite of their radical acceleration in certain areas of their lives, we let them be kids and make sure they enough rest and sleep,” mom Taji told Phi Theta Kappa.
Besides, Tiara is a genius in her own right. While her older brother – whom she adores and looks up to – is fascinated by engineering and biomedical sciences, Tiara is a polyglot, math enthusiast and a singer.
The 12-year-old has already played Carnegie Hall twice, released a Christmas album in six languages at age nine, has been a member of the Mensa society since she was four and started college classes at brother Tadishq’s Sacramento alma mater at age seven. And she will soon be transferring to UC Davis herself.
For those wondering if being the little sister of a certified genius came with any perks? “I did not get special treatment, except I sit in the front row so I am not covered by the big people,” she said in an interview with Phi Theta Kappa, the honors society she too is a member of.
Last year during Pi Day celebrations Tiara recited 530 digits of Pi in well under fove minutes! Other things Tiara is passionate about? Cats Tubby and Lucky, Nancy Drew books, golf and spending time with her family. After all, Tiara has a great relationship with her super smart family:
“Our parents always advise us, and I think their advice is the best. They tell us to be good to people, stay humble, work hard, do our best, and leave the rest to God.”