Despite being a millionaire, Yu Youzhen works as a street cleaner in Wuhan City, China. She shows up to work at 3 am and cleans her 3,000 meter stretch of street six days a week. Why, you ask? Because she wants her children to see what it means to work hard and earn what they have. She has gained much attention on the Internet this week and, in turn, ended up setting a good example for more people than just her children.
Youzhen spent the 1980s farming vegetables while she and her husband saved up their money. They had eventually saved enough money for a three-story house and when people came to Wuhan to find jobs, Youzhen began renting out rooms. She was making a profit and building new buildings. Soon she had three five-story buildings, which were being rented out. The government wanted to redevelop the land and seized her buildings, but she was given 21 apartments as compensation. She now has a net worth of a millionaire, but has continued working as a sanitation worker for about 15 years.
Youzhen’s story is endearing, but a few people have taken to the comments section of articles about her arguing that she is taking a job from someone who really needs it. This is an interesting point, and it raises an important question. Is it okay for Youzhen to work a job that she doesn’t necessarily need while unemployed people struggle to find work?
Honestly, if articles were coming out about a Chinese millionaire who retired, the negative comments would label her an entitled, lazy rich person who doesn’t need to work hard. So it doesn’t really make sense to me that people are being so negative about this woman who is hardworking and humble.
As far as I’m concerned, she is working to contribute something positive to her city. She cleans her streets and likes what she does while simultaneously teaching her kids how to work for a living. And her lessons to her kids clearly work. Her son works as a driver and her daughter works an office job. Maybe they don’t need these jobs, but they do their jobs because of the lessons their mother instilled in them.
You know the expression: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime?” Well, I think Yu Youzhen is that expression personified.
Image via IBTimes