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Carlos Slim Reads One of His Favorite Poets

The world's second-richest man told CNBC that one of his favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran, helps shape his philosophy toward wealth.

Carlos Slim identified the Lebanese-American poet as a source of inspiration and read from a Spanish-language translation of "The Prophet," a 1923 Gibran work that has never been out of print. In part, the passage Slim read for CNBC translates as follows into English:

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?

And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

And what is fear of need but need itself?

Slim has engaged in extensive philanthropic work. His foundation announced in late April that it would donate $100 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, an effort backed by Bill Gates to eliminate the disease.

With a net worth of about $70 billion, Slim is believed to be the world's second-richest man, behind former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

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