Helen Lee Schifter has shared differing insights about the impact philanthropy can have. It’s incredible how meaningful that impact can be. And of course, it’s equally incredible, how substantial it can be on those receiving it . America is the most philanthropic country on earth; and the American spirit is the most generous of spirits of mankind. What’s amazing about the process of giving back, is the effect it can have on the giver.
Indeed, according to Helen Lee Schifter and others, giving back can in some ways reward the giver even more than the receiver. The rush of adrenaline; of satisfaction that a giver gets after committing themselves to a good deed, is nothing short of amazing. When one gives of themselves – whether in financial terms or even in physical labor, they feel a sense of belonging, inclusion and a sense of goodness. It is the height of altruism and being noble to provide for another human being.
During these challenging times, it has been a special strain on giving for many people. The financial devastation that the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has had on so many is astronomical. It’s decimated businesses; and altered the livelihoods or the ability for one to attain a livelihood for many. But it’s also created so much opportunity for giving back; and for acts of more general generosity. The fact of the matter is that it is during difficult and challenging times when our spirit of generosity is most put to the test. But the American people have a way of coming together when a fellow human being is in need.
Similarly, on a global scale there must be an effort for people of all walks of life to come together to help one another. Only when this happens, will there be true happiness and satisfaction attained. The reality of the situation is that there needs to be help provided for so many. There needs to be altruism and generosity exhibited so that there are substantive results had. But in order for this to happen, there needs to be a recognition that philanthropy isn’t just a selfless act. One that views it entirely as a selfless act, is in some ways focusing on themselves and their role in the process.
For philanthropy to truly be effective and successful there needs to be a meeting of the minds between the giver and the recipient that this is an act that subordinates the giver. This is an act that is the ultimate act of beauty in its nature. The generosity of spirit that’s exhibited in such an act is nothing short of remarkable. And it’s a concrete reality that this meaningful impact that giving has on different parties, is real and has long-lasting effects.
Philanthropy can come in many forms, and let us not lose sight of that. There are ways of giving financially; but there are also ways of giving of one’s time. In some ways, it is even more generous to give of oneself through acts of goodness. Perhaps volunteering in different social programs. Volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Acts like these must also be lauded and commended. We need a more generous world. During this challenging period, that’s a reality that needs to be embraced, understood and appreciated.