Another Side To Charity And Philanthropy

The goal should not be to make money and do good by setting aside some money for “charity”. There are documented studies and research that has shown such interventions to be superficial. An example is the “big man” who gives a village ten bags of rice and claims he has solved world hunger. While we are grateful for his kindness, we need to identify such gestures as superficial. They are not the real changes we need. Setting aside money for charity can never replace the need for wisdom, insights, discipline and proper planning that is required to actually tackle social and economic problems of your world. We need to understand charity and philanthropy on a deeper level.

Eyebrows were raised when Elon Musk, the man occupying the number one slot on the Forbes Billionaires list described his businesses as philanthropy. Philanthropy means “love of humanity” in Greek. Elon Musk running several companies that make him the richest human in the world, is not the common understanding of what qualifies as philanthropy. Musk noted that Tesla is “accelerating sustainable energy. This is love… philanthropy. SpaceX is trying to ensure the long-term survival of humanity with a multi-planet species. This is love for humanity. Boring Co. is trying to solve traffic, which is hell for most people”

“If you care about the reality of goodness instead of the perception of it, philanthropy is extremely difficult”

Elon Musk

There is no betterment of society when our best brains focus on enriching their private pockets through any means necessary while paying lip service to stewardship and service. Your core business is to look for the toughest problems in your day and develop the might to solve those problems. You would discover that if you really want to do good in a way that is consistent and sustainable it has to be a business. We need to begin to understand philanthropy (love of humanity) this way.

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