Philanthropy is a very interesting topic. Philanthropy comes from the Greek “philein” (to love) and “anthropos” (man) and means a desire to help mankind, especially as shown by gifts to charitable institutions.
Philanthropists are loving and seeking to do well to their fellow men (and women) and are paying more attention to how they give their money away. Especially during this pandemie, if more and more people get jobless and businesses crash down.
In times of pandemic, political crisis and corruption, we might only observe our own pockets becoming emptier and emptier, while others’ slop over. Giving while living? Of course not, getting and receiving as much as possible seems to me the motto many times.
One of the Bible’s books of poetry, the Proverbs really offers advice on every imaginable area of life. The style of wise living described here leads to a fulfilled life. Proverbs 28:27 say:”He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses!”
In view of a feature in an old issue of the magazine “The Economist” I learned that Andrew Carnegie (“The King of Steel”, 1835-1919) would surely have approved of Lord David Sainsbury. The supermarket tycoon turned politician was one of Great Britain’s richest men. It was reported that he not only intended to give away at least $ 1.83 billion during his lifetime, but to insist that this charitable foundation spent both its income and capital before he passed away.
Few rich donors have yet gone this far. But Lord Sainsbury’s decision was part of a broad trend among a new generation of philanthropists to play an active role in seeing that their money is very well spent. Such efforts should be applauded. In his great 1889 essay on wealth, Carnegie, who gave away about $7 billion in today’s money – argued that the rich had the duty to use most of their money to benefit the community, and should do so actively during their lifetime. Let’s look around if we can still find such donors and patrons in our daily life.
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