(image from Pixabay)
June is all about philanthropy.
My Granddad was born and raised in Glasgow. He was born and raised in tenements, which were more often then not overcrowded with poor sanitation, and the people living there with not much hope for flourishing in life. He was about 20, working on the docks, when a gentleman approached him and other young men with an offer - move to the other side of the world, passage paid for, and work in the docks in Sydney Harbour. I cannot imagine what that opportunity must have felt like for these young men; Sydney, Australia must have felt like a bright spark of sunlight in the dreariness of a foggy and polluted Glasgow; an adventure was to be had, and my Granddad was up for it. So, with the help of a wealthy philanthropist, my Granddad moved to Australia, worked hard, met my Nan, had my Aunty and my Mum, and the rest is history, so to speak. I wouldn't be here without that philanthropist, he changed my Granddad's life, and helped to create mine.
So what is Philanthropy?
According to the Oxford dictionary it is: "The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes."
What I want to explore this month is that "especially." Philanthropy is often seen as the generous offer of money to assist someone in terms of life improvement/wellbeing/flourishing, but can you be a philanthropist by giving in other ways?
I have given money to causes that I believe in, and we see this giving of money for causes every day - in fact one of the most moving giving of money to a cause was very recent, this Sunday just gone, when Ariana Grande raised money through her One Love Manchester concert for victims of the awful terrorist bombing at her concert a few weeks ago. In fact the concert and donation drive has raised over 9 Million pounds thus far, and shows the true generosity of people in the face of tragedy.
We can give in big ways, such as the above, but we can also give in smaller ways, and be philanthropic everyday, when we see the person struggling to find coins to pay for parking, or we offer to cover a friend's dinner if we know they needed an evening out, but couldn't afford it at that time.
In embracing philanthropy this month I aim to give, money-wise, to causes and events I believe in, but I also want to explore how I can be philanthropic beyond money, and try and understand what this means for myself and others.
(To kick-start my philanthropy month I have donated a pay-it-forward ticket to Anj Handa's "Inspiring Women Changemakers Non-Awards evening." This awards evening will showcase inspiring stories that will inspire change and collaboration as we try to make our world a better place. Consider buying a pay-it-forward ticket here - Inspiring Women Changemakers - and consider attending yourself!