Why should you give your hard earned money for philanthropic activities?
This whole writing will be based on the observation that the world we live in right now has inequality in availability, accessibility, affordability of resources (resource here include the wider spectrum of all natural and non natural resources, infrastructure, institutions etc). In a utopian world free of inequality, philanthropy will be a utopian concept too. The biggest problem the whole world has encountered is of increasing inequality in all spheres of life. For a lengthy period of time, it has been dormant and idle but was increasing in the background because the marginalised section was not aware of their freedom and rights. Once they were aware of it, resistance began and over the years the wealthy middle class emerged.
The rich-poor (the rich and poor used here is purely in economic terms) divide has been the status quo. From the slaves of Mesopotamia to the labour class in the modern society; both were earmarked for subjugation in perpetuity. If a man believes his need is superior to others and his value is inherently greater than the others, there in stems greed. “I need more wealth because my needs are greater than yours”. The social institution of family and the class structure makes the wealth an eternal material kept for their own generations to come. It’s impossible to make anyone better off without making someone worse off, says Pareto. Uniform distribution of wealth is a flawed concept and will never materialise in reality. Inequality has been the normal till now but it can be altered where the people who are suffering with the crunch in money i.e. the poorest of the poor can be provided with support from the better off.
“I am a tax paying citizen isn’t it the government’s duty to lift the people out of poverty?” Obviously the government is for the people, by the people and of the people – in principle
But in reality it for the power, be in the power and be the power. The political parties work along with the crony capitalist for their own benefits. Their status quo is vote bank. It will not be altered by any force and they will try hard to protect it and create new vote banks – an act of self preservation. Protection of personal interest rather than the people’s interest thus becomes priority. To fill the gap, you need the presence of a strong civil society in the structure. The civil societies are our consciousness.
Here i am proposing thirteen reasons why you should consider donating your money to philanthropy
You should donate because it’s the inherently the right thing to do – Always you should introspect on the privileges you have. When you are eating three times a day there is someone who is dying of hunger. They died because they didn’t have. We had yet what did we do?
All the holy textbooks vouch for it. Bhagavad Gita says “charity given to a worthy person simply because it is right to give, without consideration of anything in return, at proper time and at the proper place is stated to be mode of goodness” Chapter 17 verse 20. The holy Bible says “but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks” Deuteronomy 15:8 and “one who is gracious to a poor man lends to the lord, and he will repay him for his good deed” Proverbs 19:17. The Quran says “those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and shall establish regular prayers and regular charity will have their reward with their lord on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” Quran 2:277.
Your money can have spill over effects for generations – One example is Dr B R Ambedkar. You know the story. Now you can imagine the magnitude of the spill over effect.
Service to the mankind is prominent in human morals but if you are a busy person and for you time is money then through your donations the money can be the rhetoric. Money is what money does. It speaks more and it can have far reaching impact on the process.
Giving is always a pleasure when you see happiness in others – This doesn’t mean you should give to get the satisfaction or happiness to self because if you do so you defeat the purpose in the way that you become hedonistic where the intent behind giving cannot be justified as a rightful act.
Practice what you preach – You can donate money then you become eligible to preach the same. We live in a world of hypocrisy. The violators of human rights become champions of human rights. The people who stand against corruption are proven to be corrupt. So my argument is that you can be the champion of charity when you start giving.
You eventually do help in reducing inequality – Even though the statement seems to be slightly optimistic given the chances for the same is bleak. However if it happens you are one of the root cause to it.
By donating you are indirectly supporting many families involved in the process. For example, the NGOs which run on donations drew their salary from the same. Hence there are lot of families involved in the process.
Your money will be playing an existential role in the running of the developmental sector – If the source of funding stops the sector becomes dead. Thus a single action of each individual will have the power to run or stop the process.
You don’t become poor by donating – Most of the noble causes don’t need millions. For example by donating just 35$ you can help in education of a tribal student in Naxal affected Chhattisgarh. Another example could be by donating 15$ you can support a family of migrant worker stuck in time of Corona lockdown.
Once you donate you will be then getting the tag of a philanthropist – Philanthropy is not just for the ‘rich’. It’s the domain of all the people who can go beyond the expected. Sacrificing luxury for one day, you can feed hundreds
Sacrifice is not about giving up your Rolls Royce – It can be the money saved from rave parties and drinks, it can be the money saved from a candle light dinner. It can even be the money saved by not smoking a pack of cigarette
Last but not the least you will be getting tax exemptions for charity – Here you can avoid the pain of tax when your money is given to the government in turn with much bigger satisfaction.