Everyone that cares about the wellbeing of humanity is faced with contemplating how they might leverage their time and resources to give back, to help others in some way. Why? Because you care and you feel some sense of responsibility to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world.
But how? How does one serve effectively? There is enough information available to us through the Internet that most people are well aware of concepts such as “dead aid” and how our efforts to help often result in contributing to the very problem we’ve set out to solve, or in creating a new one. We know that not all methods of altruism are actually helpful.
So how do we help? How do we serve effectively? How do we reimagine philanthropy, aid and missions? How do we ensure that we’re not contributing to the problem or creating new problems? How do we avoid fostering dependency and entitlement?
These are important questions to contemplate. And they are not easily answered. But I do believe that when we take the time to study history, reevaluate our motives and be more strategic and deliberate in our actions, we can begin to more effectively foster a more peaceful and harmonious world.
There are quite a few terms for various types of altruistic behavior, such as altruism, philanthropy, missions, humanitarianism, aid work, volunteering, etc. Each are worthy and can be of great help. However, I am most drawn to the concept of philanthropy because it covers a broad range of altruistic behavior and is generally associated with big picture, foundational and long term commitment initiatives.
I believe that the more clear and strategic we are about defining what we are doing, and why, the more effective we can be in those efforts.
Philanthropy derives from the Greek “philos” for “loving”, and “anthropis”, for “human being”. It is focused on love and the quality of life for humans. It derived in the 5th century from the idea of “improving the human condition, to save mankind from destruction”.
Philanthropy is a term used for the love of humanity, in a sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing what it means to be human. It involves both the benefactor in their identifying and exercising their values, and the beneficiary in their receipt and benefit from the services or goods provided. At it’s pinnacle, it becomes a symbiotic relationship.
Philanthropy covers a broad range of altruistic behavior and is not specific to any one style or methodology. It is naturally nondiscriminatory and inclusive. In modern society, this includes important initiatives that further our understanding of what it means to be human through space exploration and other scientific and cosmic research and our continued exploration of self actualization and consciousness.
Philanthropy differs from charity or humanitarianism or aid in that the these practices are largely focused on the immediate, and often temporary relief of the pain caused by a particular social or economic problem, whereas philanthropy attempts to address the root causes of these “symptoms”. Philanthropy requires a long term commitment and copious amounts of patience and unconditional commitment.
The purpose of Philanthropy is to continually advance the quality of the human experience, to foster harmony and balance amongst all living beings and our planet. It’s a long term commitment that requires copious amounts of patience, empathy and unconditional love. And I think that’s exactly what the worlds needs.
If you’re interested in diving deep and committing to a process of listening and learning with an eclectic group, please check out my Conscious Philanthropy Collective (mastermind group).
Consulting / Coaching
If you are interested in engaging in my Conscious Philanthropy consulting process in order to elevate your effectiveness or to develop an extraordinary philanthropic venture, please visit this page and fill out the application form.