Public service work is by-no-means glamourous, and it certainly does not pay well, but those called to work for the public’s welfare rarely do it for the money.
Alan Naiman, a social worker from Washington State, was a quiet and unassuming man by all accounts. He rarely ate out, never married or had children of his own, and even helped care for a disabled brother in his later years. Alan was also a frugal man. In addition to his primary career as a social worker, he often held down side jobs – sometimes working up to three jobs at a time.
His shoes were sometimes held together by duct tape, and he was known for looking for and finding great deals. According to CTV News, Alan worked for social services and earned an average annual salary of $67,234. That yearly income added to an inheritance from his parents, his numerous side jobs, and sound investments grew to quite a nest egg over the years.
Alan passed away in December 2018 from cancer, but the legacy he left behind to the very organizations and charities he worked alongside for years has the world buzzing. $11 Million US dollars to various charities and groups who work with and for children.
From the outside, his quiet life might have seemed sad to many people. We often think people aren’t living their best life if it isn’t splashed across the pages of our favorite social media venue. Here we see a great example of a life lived in service to others: a life full of purpose.
May we all learn a lesson from Alan. May we all live with our legacy in mind.