I know this sounds crazy to some of you, but I’ve figured out that the more I give, the more I receive. Of course, it almost never comes from the person or entity I give to—but it does come! In this case, the check was from my mortgage company and the accompanying letter said it was a refund for overpayment on my escrow account.
You don’t have to just give money for this to work. Since retiring from my “job” I’ve tried to be—I want to choose my words carefully, let’s say—more creative with my money. Often what I offer isn’t monetary but could be as simple as a smile or a compliment.
Money always comes to me, especially when I need it. Just last month we had a $583 repair bill for our air conditioner and that very day I received a check from my sister for $600. Evidently, our mother had purchased a small, long forgotten insurance policy for my sister when she was a baby and, by coincidence my sister learned about it a few months ago. She decided to cash it out and split with me.
But, one of the best stories I’ve heard that illustrates this philosophy is about a man whose generosity to others not only brought him great wealth but also great joy.
I was reminded of him when my son told me that he and his fiancé helped serve breakfast at Give Kids The World Village (www.gktw.org) this past New Year’s holiday. As soon as he mentioned the name of the resort I recalled that one of my mentors, Bob Proctor, had recounted the life of the founder of GKTW in a seminar. It’s a wonderful story that exactly demonstrates the point I’m making.
Henri (Anre) Landwirth was born in Belgium in 1927. Between the ages of 13 and 18, Landwirth lived in the Nazi death and labor camps, and many of his friends, neighbors and his family died.
He immigrated to the United States in 1950 on a cargo ship with only $20 in his pocket, and three months after passing through Ellis Island, he was drafted by the U.S. Army. Landwirth served without complaint. Upon completing his service, Landwirth used the G.I. Bill to take courses in hotel management and found employment in a New York City hotel where he started at the bottom. He worked his way up the ladder by taking on the tasks of others as well as his own. He would even bribe other employees, including the accountant, to let him work their shift. In this way, he learned every job in the hotel.
In 1954 he and his wife moved to Florida where he landed a job running the Starlight Hotel in Cocoa Beach. If the name of the Starlight Hotel sounds familiar to you, it’s because it became home to the original Mercury 7 astronauts, their families, the media, and other VIPs who gathered there. Then when Walt Disney moved to Florida, Landwirth obtained a Holiday Inn franchise that happened to be near the main gate of Walt Disney World.
Many say that Landwirth was lucky, but if you read my book you know I don’t believe in luck, I believe in the Laws. I’d say that Landwirth was evoking the Law of Cause and Effect, and he took the above quote by Winston Churchill to heart.
You see, the more Landwirth prospered, the more he gave to others, and the more he did for others, the more he prospered. You’ve probably heard the sayings “what goes around, comes around” and “give and you shall receive.” These are just another description of the Law of Cause and Effect.
Landwirth worked with retarded children and helped build a clinic for children with cerebral palsy. In honor of his mother, he created the Fannie Landwirth Foundation which allowed him to build a senior citizen center and create scholarship programs. He began transportation programs for the handicapped and disabled in the State of Florida and provided housing and meals for families, giving them food or emergency financial assistance.
In 1985, Landwirth founded Give Kids The World as a means of helping terminally ill children. He personally contributed a million dollars toward the creation of the village, and every penny used to run the facility is paid for through donations. GKTW is a specially designed hotel and recreation complex for the sick children and their families—at no cost to them! The complex is so encompassing that few families during their week-long stay ask to visit Disney World which is very close by. By allowing the children to be . . . well, children, away from the hospitals and doctors Landwirth believes that something changes inside and many of them live longer than the doctors expected
Asked why he does all of this, Landwirth said, “I love life. I shouldn’t be here. By all rights, I should have died. My whole life was a miracle. I feel it is my duty to give something back. You’ve got to give of yourself—not money, but the essence of yourself. That is what makes life meaningful.”
Get inspired and watch a brief video of Landwirth talking about the Give Kids the World Village.