Depths of Philanthropy, about being Corporate Social Responsible, which some people refer to using a more sophisticated term as Philanthropy.
Supporting others has several aspects. The first one is financial – part of revenue is reallocated as donations to noble causes. Another aspect is practical – our funding allows someone to take material, beneficial action. Yet another one, equally important, is personal – what we benefit as givers, witnessing a practical improvement in people’s lives and seeing their smile of relief and gratitude. These things give us the sense of completeness.
In this episode Bolek Drapella about Philanthropy as a lifestyle and as a part of what many of his friends and he has chosen to do.
Transcription of the episode
In today’s episode I’d like to talk about something that personally matters to me a lot – charity.
In the business jargon, it is known as CSR – being Corporate Social Responsibility. Some people refer to it using a more sophisticated term – philanthropy. In fact, philanthropy denotes a more general personal and social commitment of which charity is a practical manifestation.
Philanthropy and life balance
I deliberately put off recording this podcast until a few good months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most of us, I needed to collect myself and face up to the lockdown reality.
I waited until I could detach my thoughts about charity, philanthropy and CSR from the pandemic “here and now”, because these things haven’t been created at present to address the current needs.
Philanthropy is a lifestyle and is part of what many of my friends and I have chosen to do. As I explained in one of my earlier episodes, “The Balance”, philanthropy, as a form of a hobby, contributes to the life equilibrium. It reinforces one of the three legs of the “life balance tripod” – self-actualization, the two others being the professional life and the private life.
Today, I’m going to tell you more about how helping others helps us maintain the mental balance in our day-to-day life.
Sense of completeness
Supporting others has several aspects.
The first one is financial – part of SaunaGrow revenue is reallocated as donations to noble causes. Another aspect is practical – our funding allows someone to take material, beneficial action. Yet another one, equally important, is personal – what we benefit as givers, witnessing a practical improvement in people’s lives and seeing their smile of relief and gratitude. These things give us the sense of completeness.
A word of caution here.
Donating money can’t buy the peace of mind or a ticket to heaven.
There’s this anecdote of a convent abbot, whom a wealthy and respected man asks whether he will be saved if he donates a million dollars to the convent. The abbot’s answer is “I don’t know, son, but why don’t you give it a shot?”. Feeling complete doesn’t mean salving one’s conscience.
Benefits and misconceptions
The pandemic time helped me realize that, apart from helping people in emergency situations, it is all the more fulfilling to become committed to long-standing welfare activities for the local community.
There’s no formula for this, but I have this sensation that if I could do something to relieve someone’s hardship or to stop his world from collapsing, the kindness, once shared, ripples and returns as a powerful wave that relieves me in my hardship and keeps my world together. This motivates me to stay involved in the schemes where generosity is shared on a regular basis.
Here’s another misconception to steer clear of. If we engage in long-term projects as business entities, we must bear in mind that charity will not convert to PR or marketing graphs. It is not a transaction. It gives a deeper sense to what we do as a team in our organizations and to how we feel as individuals being part of companies that do good things.
Find your own way to get involved
There are lots of good things we can do to help. It can be helping your family, the elderly, the neighbours or the less fortunate. Very often, these things do not require much time, organization or work.
It can take a more organized form, such as hospice work, which I am involved in, but there is a number of ways everyone can do.
One of the options we’re doing through SaunaGrow is donating 100% of revenue coming from all introductory meetings to the hospice movement & projects. There are animal shelters that require both money and every available bit of our time to go out for walks with dogs. We can donate our skills towards various organisations. Pretty much whatever we do for living can be of value to charities as well. Just pick up the phone or send out a message to find out how you can help.
I know it is not always easy to find the time or energy to spend. The pandemic has piled up on us lots of new worries – our own children’s remote learning, our new home duties, problems at work, risk of job loss, lost jobs, our time and financial constraints.
The point is not to dwell on your own problems.
While coping with our situation, doing the shopping, for instance, a little extra effort of buying a few things more for our neighbour can relieve those who suffer from the same or worse adversity. If we help others we support them in more ways than we can imagine.
Make philanthropy part of your lifestyle
I highly recommend making philanthropy a regular part of your life, as a continuation of individual acts of charity, such as gifting someone with a computer or making a donation. Make it an important part of who you are and why you are here.
It can redefine your life and your sense of usefulness and give you a new sense of security. It can reinforce the “self-actualization” leg of the life-balance tripod. We might find it very reassuring in crisis situations, while the two other legs – our professional and our family life – seem to weaken.
Having lost a job, looking for a new one or having to respecialize, it’s worth remembering that there are people in a worse situation, who may need your help.
If you spread goodness, you will reap twice as much. As Henry Thoreau said: Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
Have a good day.
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