Monday, 10 February 2014

A Short History Of Modern Philanthropy

Are you sitting comfortably?

Once upon a time there were gentlemen, outwardly gender defined by tailoring and facial hair. There were gentlewomen at this time as well, with plump hair and laced in waists. And the fashion of this time was not all coiffure and garb but also social.
Support for the orphaned, the bereaved, the enslaved, the badly housed, the homeless, the sick, the malnourished, the uneducated and the generally oppressed was the height of good manners.
Social conditions improved, though they were never perfected. Gender identification became less important to intelligent people, and the costumes more user friendly, though sometimes less pleasing to the eye.
Philanthropy remains chic, to this day. Money is after all quite useless unless in some kind of use. Beyond a certain level of stuff, there is too much stuff and it becomes oppressive, not fun: not glad to be alive at all. To effect joy is a regenerating act: it brings freedom to the giver and the receiver: what's not to love?
All things in fashion reinvent. This year's philanthropy filters down to suit any budget. If you have any old time left lying around; or a beautiful smile, or a friendly ear, a practical skill perhaps, a gift for entertaining? Share!
And what of the future of kindness? It is not time that will answer that question, of course: it is us.

[NB: It is advised to accessorise with minor expectations: some people retain annoyance with a determination almost admirable. You might as well admire it, in that case. Just don't aspire to it.]



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