The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. ~Mitch Albom
There are those individuals we encounter in our lives that teach about the importance of philanthropy–the generosity and devoting of one’s time and resources for the betterment of humanity. They are the individuals whose love of people shines brightly when they enter a room, attracting others to them with their personal warmth and caring presence.
Through the sharing of stories and by example, we can observe how those philanthropists are faithfully devoted to bring their best of selves–energy, time, attention, and resources–to the greater good of community. It is essential for those of us who aspire to this way of being to watch, listen, and feel the unique dynamic at work, integrating what we learn in our interactions with others.
Greater meaning and a clearer sense of purpose comes from cultivation of compassion, love of humanity, and living a life of gratitude, generosity, and devotion to something greater than the individual.
Here are some of the things these philanthropic role models teach us:
- Listen to the calling of your faith and deepest values, and respond by actively giving of yourself, your time, and your resources.
- Volunteer time in the community where there is a need.
- Be a steward of the environment.
- Advocate for those who are oppressed.
- Respond to those in need with compassion, generosity, and respect.