Zig on Philanthropy

Retired? Become a Philanthropist. Someone once commented that it must be awful to be rich and idle and have nothing to look forward to but getting up in the morning. If, by chance, this is the position you find yourself in, I suggest you become a philanthropist. When the word "philanthropist" is used the average individual thinks of someone who is both rich and generous, a person who not only is capable of donating large sums of money to worthwhile causes, but does that very thing on a regular basis. However, the word "philanthropy" comes from two Greek words, "philos," which is "loving," and "anthropos," which is "man." When you put those two together a "philanthropist" is a "loving man."

This reminds us that all of us can be - should be - philanthropists because we can be loving and we can do things for the betterment of mankind. We can give something which can't be bought. We can give our interest, our love, our time and our concern to our fellow human beings. If you are already a retired citizen, get involved with young people, if at all possible. Many children who are confined to hospital beds or receive long-term health care at home do not have grandparents and would love to have a senior citizen come by and tell them stories or read to them.

Maybe you're an animal person but choose not to have a pet of your own. There are literally tens of thousands of pet in shelters where they languish day after day until somebody adopts them or they are euthanized. Offering assistance to these centers will help both the animals and their keepers, and you, the volunteer, will benefit even more. Medically speaking, it's been proven that "pet therapy" improves health. When senior citizens are around pets or have one of their own, their quality of life and length of life also improve. Walking a pet will accomplish a double objective.

One service which brings the greatest mutual benefit is for people to regularly visit retirement and/or nursing homes and spend time with the individual residents. Other things which you can do to qualify as a philanthropist are reading for the blind, regularly calling shut-ins just for a chat, working with the "Meals On Wheels" program to take nutritious meals to those who are confined to their homes, being a regular contributor to the Red Cross blood drives, serving as a nurse's aide or being a volunteer at a hospital.

True philanthropist know that it doesn't always take a lot of money to make a huge difference in the lives of others. Give your time, your energy, your care and concern, others will be greatly blessed and so will you.