Philanthropy is a term which comes from Greeks. It actually means loving the humanity, to be careful and emphatic, to understand others feelings (empathy) and to be open to understand the values and the beliefs of the others. If you ask me, but also most of the psychologist would agree, this would be the highest level of the human conciseness. If you take a look at the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you will see that the last one and the highest place on the pyramid takes self-actualization. What else could be the self-actualization than to understand the whole planet and the human race?
Once that you have knocked down your boundaries of thinking about others and globalizing them and their lives, you will find yourself at the full piece of your body, mind, and soul. People often confuse the term philanthropy with the charity. You need to understand that there are some differences between those two terms.
Philanthropy itself always aspires for attempting to address the root cause of some problem, while charity means giving with a purpose to relieve someone’s pain, no matter what kind is it. Let us explain it on the example, for your best understanding. If someone is hungry, and you can feel their pain and unsatisfied needs, you will want to give them some food, right? Well, that is the charity. The real philanthropist would teach them how to get the food themselves.
It can be best explained on fishing. Do you want to give the hungry people fish to get them full-filled or do you want to teach them fishing, so they won’t be hungry anymore and won’t need your help? If your answer is to teach them fishing, then you can consider yourself a real philanthropist. Okay, let’s see how the real philanthropy works. Remember yourself giving some material things to other people. Yes, they needed it and you helped them, but it makes you feel good too, right? Have you been in a situation where you shared your knowledge with someone which helped them to succeed later in life? If yes, you are the great person.
The real philanthropist would help someone so they won’t need any help anymore, they would be able later to do everything on their own. In that case, both you and them will feel good and also successful. When you give someone something, let’s say a meal, they will need a new one in just a few hours, right? So, yes, you have helped them, but they don’t feel good about it. They feel like they are dependent on you.
A really good person won’t like such a situation. He/she would rather prefer that both sides are actually happy and going further with their lives and personal growth. But, it is also important to say that most cultures don’t understand the term of philanthropy the same. Most of the people understand it as any kind of help which is given to people who need it. I don’t have a problem with it because there are so many people which are not educated and it is very hard to teach them anything.
Just imagine some underweight children in Africa, how can you help them on the long-term? You cannot, you can make them happy if you bring them fresh water and food, some clothes maybe etc. There are so many charities nowadays. It makes me happy to hear that. Not only the rich and famous people are those who donate to charities, but also the ”regular” families which have the empathy. I would like you to understand that everything you have is just temporary.
All you have can be gone in a second. I don’t want to frighten you, but if you take a better look-you really don’t know what are the real stories that people are going through or they went.
Imagine what would happen if all the humanity give the stuff they don’t need and the food they throwaways daily to those who are hungry and freezing?
Can the humanity itself reach together the highest Maslow’s hierarchy this way?
It would be amazing!