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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Mister Sunshine

4 minutes

How a millionaire traded his wealth for happiness – and a shoeshine box

‘Everybody wants to be somebody. But remember: be somebody that’s nice.’

In the 1980s, Larry Woods was extraordinarily rich, unapologetically extravagant and intractably self-involved – or as he now puts it, ‘a real asshole’. Following an epiphany after a small yet eye-opening interaction with a kindly fruit-shop owner, Woods transformed himself into a man of modest means, but rich in compassion and cheer. Going by the moniker ‘Mister Sunshine’, Woods is a beloved figure on the streets of Auckland in New Zealand, where he shines shoes and lives by a creed to do good and spread kindness at every turn.

Director: Eldon Booth

Producer: Alex Lovell

Website: Loading Docs

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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