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Donating Money Can Bring Happiness

Posted January. 12, 2006 03:01,   


An elderly Chinese classics scholar over 80 years old kept his word from five years ago in which he said that he would donate five billion won to society.

Lee Kyung-moo, 81, of the Goyang Confucian Academy, Gyeonggi Province, donated 1,567-pyong of land worth five billion won to Goyang City on January 11.

This land is the cream of the crop, located inside the Samsong Real Estate Development Complex, where a new city of Dongsan-dong, Duckyang-gu will be constructed.

Lee donated the piece of land because he wanted to contribute in constructing a building that would record the history of Goyang City. To honor the wishes of Lee, the city of Goyang decided to build Goyang Cultural Center and is taking the necessary administrative procedures.

In November 2001, Lee donated 500 million won received as land compensation for real estate development to Goyang City in order to help out the needy and expressed, “I plan to donate about five billion won back to society in the future.”

Even now, Lee, who comes to the academy at 6:00 a.m., cleans up and discusses with fellow members about Chinese classics, and stresses that the wealthy should have a mind of sharing.

“I became rich by working hard since I was 14. I wish rich people across Korea would know how happy it is to be able to spend hard earned money for a good cause.”

His married children, two sons and two daughters who live separately, delightfully agreed to Lee’s decision.

Since 1986, he has set up a 50-pyong academy and opened its doors to anyone interested in learning Chinese classics.

Lee has been living in Goyang City for generations and has become a self-made billionaire without inheriting anything from his parents by selling construction material, but he still lives with his wife in a 20-pyong apartment. The reason behind that is that such size is perfect for a senior couple to live in.

Lee said, “I would like for the spirit of sharing to spread so if one has knowledge, he or she should teach younger students, and if one is wealthy, he or she should donate that wealth to society.”

Dong-Young Lee argus@donga.com