Millionaire Cleans Streets to Set Example for Her Children

Yu Youzhen is picking up trash from the street.

Yu Youzhen is picking up trash from the street.

From NetEase:

Millionaire Woman Works as Sanitation Worker for 14 Years, Just to Set an Example for Her Children

In the 1980s, Yu Youzhen was merely an ordinary vegetable farmer in Wuhan City Hongshan District Donghu Village Huojiawa who, after years of building and additions, came to possess three 5-storey private buildings, most of which were rented out. In 2008, Yu Youzhen chanced upon [government policies for] the requisition, demolition, and redevelopment of land [mostly takes place in rural areas, where when a peasant’s land is expropriated by the government and the peasant is compensated for it with new houses or apartments in other locations] and was successively given 21 apartments [for her previous property]. Yu Youzhen personally witnessed some of her fellow villagers not engaging themselves in decent activities after being compensated with multiple apartments, falling into gambling, and even drug use. In order to set a good example for her children, from 1998 onwards, the now landless Yu Youzhen went to Wuchang District Chengguan Bureau to work as a sanitation worker, with a 1,420 yuan monthly salary, only one day off each week, and having to arrive for work 3 every morning.

[Above] Yu Youzhen is a contract worker for the Wuchang District Chengguan Bureau Cleaning Team, with a 1,420 yuan monthly wage. Her household had 21 apartments in total but later successively sold 4 of them, with 17 left. Calculated according to market prices, she is literally a “millionaire woman”. This picture is of January 2, in Wuhan, of “rich woman” sanitation worker Mrs. Yu cleaning the street.

Yu Youzhen is scrubbing trashcans.

Yu Youzhen is responsible for the sanitation of an approximately 3,000-meter long stretch of road, sweeping along its length back and forth 6 hours every day, wiping and washing 8 trashcans. Since it’s cold outside, a thin layer of ice forms on the surface of the trashcan that as Yu Youzhen just bent down to wipe with a wet rag.

Yu Youzhen is buying newspapers.

In the 1980s, Yu Youzhen was a vegetable grower in Hongshan District Donghu Village Huojiawan. She and her husband worked from dawn to night to make and save money, becoming the first family to build a 3-storey private house in Huojiawan. With more and more people coming to work in Wuhan from out of town, Yu Youzhen used the spare rooms for rental. By the early 1990s, each room could bring in 50 yuan each month. After saving this money, she built more buildings and added more floors, and over several years, she had three 5-storey buildings, most of which used for rentals. She said that during those years, the regulations on constructing buildings in rural areas were loose, and everyone built houses. What she didn’t expect was that in 2008, the [policies of] requisitioning and redevelopment of land began, and she was successively given 21 apartments [as compensation for her requisitioned and redeveloped buildings]. Later on, she sold 4 of them.

Yu Youzheng and her bicycle.

From 1998 onwards, the now landless Yu Youzhen went to the Wuchang District Chengguan Bureau to work as a sanitation worker, with only one day off each week, and having to arrive for work at 3 in the morning. Although later she became a “rich woman”, she still hasn’t put down her broom. In her work, people often give her cold looks, but she still loves what she does. Many of her co-workers in the cleaning team don’t understand: “Mrs. Yu’s family is so rich, yet still she comes to put up with this suffering!” To this, Yu Youzhen has her own explanation: “I want to set an example for my son and daughter, a person can’t just sit at home and ‘eat away’ a whole fortune.”

Yu Youzhen is sweeping the street.

Yu Youzhen witnessed with her own eyes some of her fellow villagers getting up to no good after getting multiple apartments from their land being requisitioned [by the government], indulging themselves in gambling, even drug use. She has already put the word out to her son and daughter: “If you don’t work, I’ll donate the apartments to the country.”

Yu Youzhen.

Now, her son works as a driver in the Donghu Scenic Area, making an over 2,000 yuan monthly salary. Her daughter too is an office worker, with an over 3,000 yuan monthly salary.

Comments from NetEase:

芙小小仙 [网易四川省网友]:

Chinese Sanitation worker Yu Youzhen, although born in poverty, but her simple way of thinking is far better than those self-proclaimed nobility like government officials and certain elites in China. I salute this kind of simple person, her spirit is incomparably rich.

操场哥 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]:

She has already put the word out to her son and daughter: “If you don’t work, I’ll donate the apartments to the country.” PS: Ma’am, I’d rather you burn them down than give them to the government.

我养的猪快出栏挨刀了 [网易天津市网友]:

People who make a living with their own two hands are deserving of respect.

月河边 [网易山西省太原市网友]:

She’s a real multi-millionaire and doesn’t even use a mosaic to cover her face, whereas those who win a lottery ticket for several million always wear masks [to hide their identities]. Is it really necessary?

迭殤 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

Ding, the simplicity and honesty of humanity!!

Comments from QQ:

腾讯网友 尤加撇:

Strongly support, it’s not good for the body to be idle.

腾讯网友 Dragon.Z…:

As a member of the post-80s generation, I feel “immense pressure”. Relying on a monthly salary of 2,000-3,000 yuan, it’s difficult to even think about finding a wife, not to mention buying an apartment. This aunt is so lucky, having seized the opportunity to become rich, and even though she’s sitting on millions of assets, is relatively enviable, she refuses to be idle, using herself to set an example for her children at every moment! Support!

腾讯泉州市网友 微笑:

Drivers, beware, maybe the sanitation worker you hit turns out to be a millionaire, so don’t think so highly of yourselves simply for having a car.

腾讯网友 9o.後ˉ莪帥:

If everybody in China were like this, there woudl be hope of the highest level of socialism being realized ahead of schedule. Honestly speaking, this big mama’s thinking and consciousness is very remarkable.

腾讯网友 Bystander:

If you leave your child a pile of money, there will always be a day when it’s been squandered all away. If you leave your child a life skill, he will have enough money for a lifetime. This mother is great, having taught rich people how to educate/raise their own children.

腾讯西安市网友 -z:

A man’s soul mustn’t feel empty, he must do something.
Strongly support “setting an example for one’s children”. Nowadays, just how many parents can really set an example for their children with themselves?
A child’s family education/upbringing comes first!

腾讯淄博市网友 leon:

Everybody has their own pursuits and their own way of life, as long as it contributes to society. She didn’t become one of the heartless rich, and is worth respecting.

腾讯东莞市网友 浅蓝ㄟ初夏:

[She] was given 21 apartments?!?!?!

腾讯网友 手心里的温柔:

Rich second generation and official second generation [the children of government officials] should really learn from this.

腾讯石家庄市网友 某 人:

Now this is a person who can resist temptation.

What do you think? Have your parents set good examples for you? What do you hope your children will learn from you?


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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