The Virtuous Mr. Bai Fang Li

Suggested by Mia Tantina

Using the money he earned from peddling trishaw, Mr. Bai Fang Li has contributed to finance more than 300 poor students in their tuition fees and living expenses, helping them to complete their studies.

His daughter recalls “He suffers throughout his life, saving on food and drinks, stitching his torn pants over and over again. When you throw away his old pants and buy new ones for him, not only that he does not want to wear them but he also gets angry.”

When the elder peddles trishaw, his clothes, shoes and hates all do not match, as if he is a beggar.
“I had never bought any clothes before. You see, the clothes that I wear are all picked up from the clothes people threw away. Look at my shoes, they are different, even the socks inside are different! The same applies to my hat; it was also collected from dumpsites.” he said.
His family members who could not resist looking him like that have advised him but to no avail.
In response to that, he simply picked up a bun and said to his children
“What is so hard about this? This bun is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it; isn’t this a way to reduce wastage?”

It has been calculated that, over years, Mr. Bai Fang Li has peddled equivalent to going round the Earth’s equator for 18 (times?). Mr. Bai has never thought to be rewarded.

Somebody attempted to find the list of students sponsored by Mr. Bai but he only found a photograph of him with a few children, and that is the only photograph ever taken. When asked about what he expected of the children, his humble reply was “I only want them to study hard, get a good job, be a good person and to give back to the country.”

In 2001, Mr. Bai Fang Li donated the last sum of money. Nearly 90 years old, he was unable to peddle trishaws anymore.
Instead, he looked after people’s car at the station and saved up to 500 yuan before he donated the money.
After giving out his last sum of money, he said “I cannot work anymore, I can no longer donate money to others!” and that was the first time in her life his daughter Bai Jin Feng had ever heard her father saying that.

Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds turned up at his funeral.

Source: Chung Hua Cultural Education Centre


  1. Gerry says:

    WOW! I wish there were many more people like him in the world. He is such a great example of humanity. He lived a truly meaningful life.

  2. raman says:

    Really salute to that person . So many people live their life for their own nd for its close ones but very rare person lives for others

  3. Claudia says:

    I want to have that courage of doing what I truly believe in, and don’t get caught up in what people will think of me

  4. Korah T Malayil says:

    Really touched by the article.When the world around us craves for material pleasures, such personalities inspire us to swim against the tide.His soul is surely enjoying in paradise.

  5. Andrew. says:

    If you are capable of giving without hoping for something in return, you have understood everything.

  6. Ola says:

    Grandeeeeeeeeee :-)

  7. Rudolf says:

    Mr. Bai Fang Li now looks upon us from heaven and smiles :-)

  8. Rien Dyah Iskandar says:

    i m speechless after read this one, he has golden heart.

  9. Neenu says:

    After reading the story of Mr.Bai, I feel ashamed of myself. The time and money that I have wasted on material pleasures, shame me now. Mr. Bai is truly an example of selflessness. I will definitely try to imbibe the values that he personified.

  10. darlin says:

    Hola Paulo..!!
    Hace algún tiempo estaba pasando momentos dificiles.. lei un articulo que tenia como titulo Cerrando circulos desde ese momento no dejo de leer sus libros.. porque en ellos encuentro una razon para sonreir.
    Le agradezco cada cosa bonita que ha escrito.


  11. Kealan says:

    If you give a person a fish you feed them for one day.
    If you teach a person to fish you feed them for a lifetime.

  12. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

    A life of giving and sharing, a lifetime dedicated to contribute to the happiness of others, without even thinking about his own comfort. Find their own happiness in the one we give to others, forgetting his own troubles, including physical. Such denial evokes the life of an angel or a saint.
    The pleasure of giving is greater than receive, just see the shining eyes of the children on Christmas Eve to be convinced. And it is in the sincere gift that we find the most contentment.
    However, the permanent gift of self is difficult when you never receive anything in return, and must exhaust all his energy into this gift. It is ultimately inhumane. It seems to me that in order to give as much love every day, we must also receive a little back to recharge his energy and continue the exchange of love. But of course, I am far from being a saint …
    M. Chris

  13. charnie redulla says:

    so inspiring!,.everyone can relate this story of humanity!,.

  14. LoveM says:

    If you love this story…
    You too are that at heart…
    We can only love what we are…
    See how lovely One is…
    Truly 1 @ <3

  15. K S S Pillai says:

    Our children should be told of the stories like that of Mr. Bai. While people are busy flaunting their wealth and indulging in wasteful expenditure, let them realize the importance of lending a helping hand to the needy.

  16. amit raushan says:

    Speechless….Inspiring….Humanity at its best. I will definitely try to follow his path. Salute to this simple, humble but extraordinary thinking person.

  17. Shine says:

    what a beautiful account of working just for the sake of it rather than for some fame, wealth, happiness. This is what you try to tell us through your works right. A very moving account indeed! Love and gratitude Avantika

  18. Vlad says:

    Lets God save his chrystall soul…