There is no prerequisite for being a philanthropist. The modern-day interpretation is being rich, powerful, and giving gobs of money. There is no exam for the quality of your values. We only assume that one is noble, just, and good. Unfortunately, that is not always true. As I advocate for, the expansion for all individuals who give to charity is how we move forward in a more peaceful world.
Yet, now I find myself needing to narrow the definition and add a prerequisite. With the recent events evidencing racial injustice and inequality in the United States, I realized, unexpectedly, that we must ask philanthropists to be tolerant and treat all people equally. Traditionally, the definition of philanthropy is “lover of mankind.” Being a lover of mankind means we must treat all people equally–despite their differences.
The beauty of life is in our diversity. There is no one prototype human in order to receive love. We come in all different body shapes, genders, sexualities, physical and mental abilities, and skin colors. In order to be a philanthropist, we need to elevate our actions to give unconditional love. We must reinforce in our values and actions that there are no conditions to give love.
The overwhelming sadness of the tragic death of George Floyd—and the many others killed over centuries and into this year of 2020—is an opportunity for us to be reminded of the work philanthropists need to do to continue to be a “lover of mankind.” We must eradicate inequality wherever it is. Some days it requires us to advocate; some days it requires us to master everyday pleasantries to anyone and everyone we meet; but everyday, it requires us to examine the imperfections in our own hearts and minds.
Philanthropists should volunteer and give to make a difference for equality. Personally, I advocate for the equality of women and fair and equal treatment of individuals with mental illness. Prior to the death of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests, I had not realized that I do not need to be a part of the black community in order to advocate for fair and equal treatment of people of color. The acknowledgement that I have not done enough disappoints me.
I have therefore decided that this is my opportunity to listen, repent, and change my attitude. I am excited and hopeful that the voices of the black community, in conjunction with the increased awareness and support of the white community, will make a difference. Yet, I know the process of change will continue to be slow and painful, but we must not let this deter us and remain steadfast.
Would you join me in advocacy for fair and equal treatment of all races? How can you participate in equality? Are you ready to advocate, protest, practice kindness, and donate?