Someone referred to the term philanthropy in a discussion that I was having with regards to my ultimate vision of contributing coaching, teaching and supporting others to fulfil their potential. I wanted to find out exactly what the word meant.
The most common definition that seems to be how most people define it, see it as:
“The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.”
This then implies that only through the generosity of giving money can one be a philanthropist. To be honest I found that shocking. I would have thought that it would talk about giving, contributing, wanting to make the difference. Denoting somebody that wants to give back to society, helping other people showing a fundamental care for other human beings. This shouldn’t be through giving money, but by committing yourself to giving everything you have to make the difference to the world. It should mean everything to you. Not personal pride or adulation but knowing you are making the world and the lives of others better.
Then I came across Wikipedia’s definition that sat far more comfortably with me.
“Philanthropy etymologically means “love of humanity” in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing “what it is to be human” on both the benefactors’ (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and beneficiaries’ (by benefiting) parts.”
I personally believe that bringing alignment between giving your passion and service to what you care about most should be the stepping stone to a philanthropist quest. It is the association of one’s passion to one’s giving. It is where your core values, belief systems and skills are directed at those issues within community and society that you deem to be of greatest significance. So in my mind surely philanthropy should simply be based on the good you hope to accomplish and your contribution to change the world for the better. .
My mission in life has never been to become wealthy or to be driven by profits but simply to be rewarded in a multitude of ways by helping release the potential of other human beings, helping them to improve their lives. To me the greatest payoff I receive is being able to make a contribution to another, to then see the amazing progress they make. This only spurs me on to do it more, reach more people, encouraging more and more of those I connect with to dream and dream big.
I myself love being able to dream big. This gives me the courage to create my book, workshops and online course. My desire to make the difference has given me energy to translate it into reality and overcome all the challenges and difficulties that have stood in my way. Many think that to dream big is a fool’s errand. To have such a powerful belief in what can be, they say, is just allowing ourselves to imagine the impossible which is unattainable. Well I agree with that partly, because I do fully believe that we can make the impossible happen, particularly if our heart is in the right place and we put in the effort to make it come into reality.
As long as I’ve been working in the personal development field, I’ve asked myself the question: “What is possible?”
My biggest payoff would be for others to say ‘we knew him and he provided us the compass and direction our life needed.” Knowing what I want has given me such clarity of purpose and I have been able to give myself permission to joyfully follow this path. . I know this is all possible.
As a personal development blogger and coach I am proud of what I do, the value I provide and my intentions to help others. I wear my ‘I am a blogger’ badge with great pride. Recently I made the decision to raise my sights and have higher aspirations to fulfil my unique potential of making the difference.
Most bloggers have had glimpses of their possibilities. But on the day-to-day level, they often end up settling for less. They also often feel alone, finding no support or encouragement. They have a passion, driven by a mission to help others, yet no body steps up and says what you provide is invaluable and I want to offer my support. You are longing for opportunities to do great things. You need to find a way to link up with others in a collaborative spirit.
This is about much more than money, it’s the desire to make a difference. To me this is the greatest meaning of philanthropy, the philanthropist acts on his or her personal initiative to make the community, the country, and the world a better place to live by giving value in one way or other. To inspire, guide, teach, and motivate others to me is the greatest privilege and the only path I desire though the path of bringing about a change in individuals and in society can be extremely challenging, its rewards can be so gratifying. Whether it comes to you naturally, or arises from a conscious realisation of your potential to contribute, this deeply held desire to make a difference is a path that you have to take if you genuinely want to change the world.
Have you taken the philanthropists quest, finding yourself on a journey where you want to contribute to the world? If so I’d love to link up with you and support each other in bringing about change.