Oseola McCarty, Philantropist.
Oseola McCarty, Philanthropist

I remember when Oseola McCarty donated $150,000 of the $280,000 she saved throughout her years working as a washerwoman to the University of Southern Mississippi. Offering “another model by which to live,” McCarty cultivated a philosophy of life that eschewed constant consumption; instead, she chose living simply and in acknowledgement of the needs of others. According to McCarty,

“It’s not the ones that make big money, but the ones who know how to save who get ahead. You got to leave it alone long enough for it to increase.”‘

As living and dying with integrity in the United States gets increasingly impossible given low wages and a dull economy, Oseola McCarty inspires those of us who aren’t making “big money” imagine ways of living well. Contemplating these possibilities proves far more relevant and interesting than entering a shallow debate concerning whether or not we should “lean in.”

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