Merriam-Webster defines Philanthropy as follows:

1: GOODWILL to fellow members of the human race; especially; active effort to promote 
    human welfare

2a: an act or gift done or  made for humanitarian purposes
2b: an organization distributing or supported by funds set aside for humanitarian purposes

Notice that the top two definitions have NOTHING to do with money!  My point?  You don't have to be rich or have any money to be a philanthropist!  

Remember Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown, the two Purdue University college students that were giving away free compliments on campus?  According to this definition, they are BOTH philanthropists!  In fact, if you've ever said good morning to a stranger, opened a door for someone or helped a little old lady across the street, you're a philanthropist too!

As for me?  I just try to help as many people as I possibly can on any given day.  Sometimes that includes providing money to someone in need, but that's not the norm.  The norm is saying good morning, serving the homeless, listening to someone who is hurting or just calling or texting my mom for no reason in particular to tell her I love her.  If you've done any of these things on a regular basis, YOU are a philanthropist too!

Now that we have established that philanthropy has nothing to do with giving away money but has everything to do with giving away something, anything really, just to be kind - how can YOU give more?  Or as my license plates say, how can you Giv Mas?

I started out by smiling at people for no reason and it grew from there.  Surely you're more sophisticated than that!  Being a philanthropist is far easier than you think……and you don't need one red cent to do it!

2011 © Sean Sheppard | Created by: Cammille Santos