When philanthropy becomes a habit, it sometimes becomes too normal. We forget why we started giving back in the first place. In order to keep the integrity of your charity, sometimes you need to check in with yourself and find inspiration. This is important both for yourself and for the cause your are donating to or volunteering with. If your involvement is simply out of habit, then you need to rethink why it matters to you. Here are some of my favorite quotes that make me reflect on my relationship with the causes I’m involved with, and I hope they inspire you too.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi
This is a great one to start with. Gandhi is the best representation of self-discovery through selfless dedication to helping others. Individuals are at their best when they reach out to people who are in need, thus understanding suffering and learning what we are meant to do in our lives in the process.
Philanthropy is activism. – Eli Broad
Eli Broad is an American Fortune 500 entrepreneur. He is an example of someone who is extremely wealthy, but believes in the importance of sharing this wealth. For Eli Broad, putting this money toward education enables a new generation to attain the same opportunities he was privileged to experience.
He does not give anything in charity or generosity, and he does not serve the Saints; his wealth does not do him any good at all – Sri Guru Granth Sahib
What is your money worth if you’re not generous with it? For Sikhs, charity has spiritual benefits for both the giver and receiver.
The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members. – Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck grew up as the daughter of missionaries in China, writing biographical masterpieces about the experiences of minority communities. She challenged society by addressing the people who are often overlooked, pointing that true progress comes when we work toward caring for those who are helpless and recognizing humanity as a whole.
How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. –Anne Frank
Philanthropy can be a small effort and starts with kindness. Don’t hesitate – change starts now.