Philanthropy Borne Out Of A Sincere Heart

When an act of philanthropy is borne out of hypocrisy, it can no longer be described as such. So that’s why I am tempted to ask why it is so difficult for a lot of us to give to the poor without making a headline of it? We are so quick to display our act of kindness and benevolence only when the entire world is watching.

It is so sad that even our religious houses rarely offer help to the needy without sounding the trumpets at times. Churches and mosques that should be the epitome of sound moral teachings and places where burdens are lifted from off the shoulders of the needy have become no-go-areas for some. People fear that even the little they have would be collected from them.

Men that should champion the course of a better society where the poor are not treated as second class citizens are even the protagonists of the ever widening gap that exists between the rich and the poor. Men born with hearts of flesh have overnight become those without consciences. They stash away millions, and even billions of money meant for developing our hospitals and educational institutions into their fat foreign bank accounts abroad.

Meanwhile, industries are fast closing down ivory towers are fast becoming centres for raising predators that will one day pounce on a nation that has already been severely raped and ravaged. The poor also shares in the pain we are facing as a nation. We are quick to lick the feet of the rich if only that will guarantee a few Naira notes to satisfy our immediate needs.

Men not even qualified to be called philanthropists are now robed in garments of self righteousness; parading our communities and religious houses looking for titles and men to bow and worship them. They are clouds without water; barrels that make a lot of noise not because they have anything to offer; but because they are empty. Empty barrels they are; men who think they are rich because they work hard or lucky to have found themselves in powerful positions.

They are the ones who employ our youths as thugs, ravish our young daughters in their innocence, and commit sodomy in places where even angels dare not penetrate. They are the first to be flown on tax payers’ money to foreign hospitals when they have rheumatism, back ache, cold, cough, etc. Perhaps, I haven’t told you or you haven’t heard from somewhere or someone else that these self-styled philanthropists are always the first to fly out of the country through our borderlines to neighbouring countries to connect Europe. Europe is always their destination when things suddenly stopped going their way. They survey the terrain, and make their moves as soon as it becomes difficult to retreat.

True philanthropists need not be told or directed to places where help is most needed. They read papers, they watch televisions, and listen to the radio. They hear stories of people with terminal diseases looking and begging for help. News and public service announcements of people in need are always relayed on our private and public media; yet our self-styled philanthropists would rather throw parties for their young mistresses. How do you describe philanthropy? Is it throwing birthday bash and sponsoring religious groups to pilgrimages? Is it booking your mistress and her mother on first class flights to Barbados or Florida to spend summer holiday? Or is it providing scholarships and teaching men the act of fishing? Did you know you can sustain the nation by taking a few kids who MUST hawk to keep their families going; did you know you can put them in school, provide books, and pay their examination fees?

You are not even qualified to be called or addressed as a philanthropist until someone somewhere has eaten out of your benevolence. You are not even rich until your act of kindness flows to destitute on the street, and to everyone who does not possess the financial ability to repay you back. I beg of you to start , even talking to people as small as your driver , security guards to ask about their families .Let us see what and how we can all touch their lives in any little way we can  starting from the grassroots.

The truth is, your act of benevolence will never be appreciated until you reach out to those who lack the true will to repay you in cash. You are not rich or influential by accident; God got you to where you are.