Economics vs. Philanthropy
Anyone can be a philanthropist regardless of their social or financial status. A true philanthropist is someone who strives to connect to the good and to make a positive change through that good. The study of economics has always fascinated me, particularly the supply and demand aspect of it. To understand economics is to understand that “scarcity” goes hand in hand with supply and demand as most people have unlimited wants but our resources are limited. When I say “resources” I am referring to our natural resources such as minerals, metals, food supply from our oceans, lumber from trees and the air we breathe. So what does economics have to do with philanthropy? Let’s just say that the average person does not wake up in the morning saying to themselves that their time and the earths natural resources are limited. Yet if you ask a philanthropist, activist, or a humanitarian why they do what they do; their response will predictably include a detailed description of how the human population is rapidly depleting and destroying our earth and that we do not have much time to correct it. You will experience an electric charge of urgency within their beingness, drawn into their passionate expression as your soul awakens with conviction. At least this is how I feel when I am together with one or more of my fellow change agent gurus! The more invested I became in my philanthropic work, the more I was exposed to how philanthropy can also be used to mislead people in making a company look good for its stakeholders, pay fewer taxes, or leverage a cover-up from human and animal rights activists.
GIVE Before you Take
I am a firm believer and follower of the law of reciprocity. Without even knowing this law was a law, I have been living my life where giving has been a natural part of my self-expression. I have always had this natural and instinctive willingness to give, contribute and trade energy and resources to support the growth, success, and happiness of others. I strongly believe that reciprocated love and emotional contribution are behavioral investments that sustain all relationships. Not only does it build trust it also awakens that generous part of you that is sometimes suppressed by the everyday pressures of life and the fears of repeating your past failures and pain. Giving is a natural behavior of being human, and what we do not realize, is that life teaches us not to give and to think from scarcity and fear. Adopting a philosophy and practice of helping others without an expectation of what you are going to get back is not always easy for everyone. Have you ever experienced receiving something and feeling like that person had a hidden agenda, and was setting the stage to prepare for payback? Unfortunately, generosity does not always come easy for people, and they become caught up in a transactional experience, versus the experience of letting go of their needs so that they can demonstrate their gratitude and generosity towards another.