The root word Phil translates from the Greek verb meaning to love, and Anthro translates to man. “Philanthropy” first appeared in the drama Prometheus Bound, believed to be written by Aeschylus between 500-430 BC.
Prometheus was a second generation Titan, basically a giant deity with great strength who chronologically appeared before Zeus and the Gods of Olympus. After overthrowing the Titan rule, Zeus had plans to decimate the human race. Because Prometheus defied Zeus and the Gods by stealing fire to give to mankind, Zeus sentenced him to perpetual torture for his act of defiance. Prometheus is also credited with teaching men writing, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, architecture, and agriculture.
Many people believe this story is nonfiction (a true story)… well, many years ago they did. In our current time, this myth is an inspirational story teaching us how making a sacrifice can change the world with philanthropy. Stories like this have been carried on and shared for over 2000 years. Comparing the lifestyle that was lived in their time and compared to what excess we have in our time – it is far apart from each other. Philanthropists have existed through generations reminding us how people who had less were willing to give.
It is important to know our history. Around 2500 BC, a mandatory tithe was collected to help the poor. In 1917, the Revenue Act of 1917 was made allowing taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions off their federal income taxes. Our voices will be heard if we choose to amplify them – every person can make a difference just like the leaders and philanthropists before us. There are not any good deeds that go unseen. Thank you Class! I hope you enjoyed the history lesson, Lend One Hand.