By Alayza Araujo
The history of philanthropy began when humans lived in dark caves and had no knowledge, skills, or culture. Considering that they had very little to offer and were unable to help their own kind, the Greek god Zeus planned to destroy them. However, the titan Prometheus intervened and prevented this from happening. He bestowed two empowering gifts upon the people: fire and “blind hope.” Fire symbolized all knowledge, skills, technology, art, and science, while “blind hope” represented optimism. With the help of optimism and fire, humans were able to build a proper civilization while maintaining optimism on their journey towards prosperity. After several translations over time, the Greeks adopted the term philanthropy, directly translated as the love for humankind.
Philanthropy is derived from two Greek words: “philein” and “Anthropos.” “Philein” means love, and “Anthropos” (anthropology) means humankind. Thus, the word philanthropy directly translates to love for humankind. In the 21st century, philanthropy is known as another word for generosity. The goal of a philanthropist is to understand humanity and make improvements to the human condition. They aim to help individuals reach their full potential or join causes that assist others. Being a philanthropist benefits both the giver and the receiver. When someone engages in acts of generosity, it can create overall happiness, lower stress levels, foster a stronger sense of connection with others, and contribute to better physical health. Philanthropy goes beyond monetary donations; it encompasses the selfless intention of helping others, whether by sharing talents (singing, playing music, etc.) or volunteering time for causes that resonate with you.
Everyone should feel inspired to support and care for causes they feel connected to, and to support their missions in effecting positive changes for the community. Becoming a philanthropist can take many forms. You can contribute by donating your time, talents, and money to organizations such as The Family Center/La Familia. This organization focuses on supporting children and families by offering high-quality childcare and comprehensive family services. By getting involved in your community and performing small selfless acts, you can make a significant impact on families who could benefit from the resources provided through your time and generosity. TFC/LF’s core values of Trust, Compassion, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Love guide their vision in creating a community where all families are safe, supported, and thriving. With your help, we can build a stronger community together.
What actions will you take to become a philanthropist today?
Alayza Araujo is an Intern with The Family Center/ La Familia for the summer. She is pursuing her degree in Clinical Psychology from Colorado State University.