by James Tang (2862 views)
(0) | Rate this:
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

What is it?

Perhaps the world would be better off if everyone truly loves humanity and seek to care and improve the humankind as a whole. Philanthropy means just that and is often associated with private initiatives that help to improve the quality of life for certain groups of people around the world based on their beliefs.

You may realise that these qualities seem oddly familiar to charity and perhaps they are in a sense. However, some may argue that charity may seem to only arise when there is a problem and merely helps to alleviate the situation instead of rectify it. Philanthropy on the other hand goes straight to the root of the problem instead of trying to temporarily ease the situation at hand.

How it has Changed over The Years

The term philanthropy was first viewed by the ancient Greeks as loving what it is to be human and was intrinsically linked to philosophical ideas and ethics. They viewed philanthropy as an educational ideal which aimed to develop oneself to their fullest potential in order to benefit other humans. Along with it, freedom and democracy were also integral in the practice of philanthropy.

As the years progressed, modern philanthropy began to stray away from the educational stance which their ancestors practiced and instead moved towards a more progressive view. Modern philanthropist proposed instead that philanthropy was the essential key to acquiring happiness in one’s lifestyle. This could come in the form of self-development through doing good for others and thus building a fulfilling life ahead. These became a rather widespread phenomenon as many upper class citizens started setting up charitable organisations to aid in the widespread poverty that existed in the early 17th century.

Today, the inception of technology has resulted in large wealth creators that have made philanthropy part of their job scope. Using their status and technology, such individuals have set up huge foundations that benefit the particularly problematic issues that have plagued the 21st century. An example would be Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, with the former having the largest private foundation in the world.

Adding to this is the advancement in scientific researches that aim to consider actions and their consequences, evaluating the impact that it brings to the world and humanity. Although such philanthropy may be theoretical in nature, it has proved significant for the future of mankind such as the recent widespread debate on global warming in the world.

How Parents Can Inculcate Such Traits in Children

Though not much research has been done on how parents affect the rate of philanthropic traits being passed down to their children, it is no doubt one of the more effective methods of bringing up a generation of philanthropists. With the limited research available, some of the methods that seem to work include encouraging such behaviour by providing kids with opportunities to help, verbal encouragement, reasoned explanations that play on the emotional state of the child and the child’s own experiences of being the recipient of care.