About Philanthropy 慈善事业

很容易忽略这样一个事实,即慈善不仅可以帮助接受者,还可以为捐赠者带来深远的生活满意度。它开辟了通往意义和幸福的道路,而繁荣的道路是很难找到的。当我上大学时,有一位哲学教授路易斯·杜普雷(Louis Dupre)向我讲了一个我永不忘记的故事。他有一个非常慷慨的朋友,由于最矛盾的原因,他最终从他身边退了下来:这个朋友无法让杜普雷慷慨和回报。收到礼物和恩惠可能很可爱,但是大多数人需要表达的礼物也有强大而无法替代的喜悦。

奉献的喜悦在文学中经常被提到:

这是生活中最美好的一种回报,任何人都无法在不为自己得益的情况下真诚地尝试帮助他人。 - 拉尔夫·沃尔多·爱默生

得福一时,积财;得福一生,助人。 - 孔子

使人最快乐的事就是做好事。- 威廉·佩恩

想要抬升自己,就先抬升别人。 - 布克·华盛顿

对于一个原因捐出一切的人,有人会认为他是发疯了,但他捐出的越多,他所拥有的就越多。 - 约翰·本扬

给予是一种古老的态度。早在公元前347年,柏拉图就将自己的农场捐赠给了他创办的学校以支持学生。这也是一种常见的给予态度。正如在那一年的年鉴随后在多个地方所记录的,即使是钱很少的人也渴望付出,并且在这样做时感觉良好。

许多研究表明,这是一种普遍现象。两位巴黎圣母院社会科学家在2014年出版的一本名为《慷慨悖论》的书将全国调查与深度访谈和小组观察相结合。结论是:“美国人越慷慨解囊,他们享受的生活就越幸福,健康和有目的。这种联系……是强大且高度一致的……。慷慨解囊的做法实际上可以提高个人的幸福感。这种关联不是偶然的,虚假的,也不是因果关系反向的产物。”他们得出这样的结论:“人们经常说,通过给予爱,我们可以增加爱。这样,慷慨解囊就像爱一样。”

在2008年《科学》杂志上发表的一篇论文中,三位研究人员给了研究参与者一笔钱,要求他们中的一半人把这些钱花在自己身上,另一半人把这些钱花在某人或慈善机构上。那些捐出钱的人的幸福感大大提高了。那些自己花钱的人没有。经济学家亚瑟·布鲁克斯(Arthur Brooks)在他的《真正关心的人》一书中引用了许多类似的研究,这些研究表明,与那些在人口统计学上相同的非给予者相比,把金钱和时间奉献给他人的美国人更可能对生活感到满意。

慈善事业与商业在美国尤其紧密地交织在一起。美国资本主义最独特的方面之一是在美国商业大亨之间发展起来的深厚的慈善传统。我们的资本主义在其他两个重要方面也与其他国家的资本主义不同:与宗教信仰的联系以及对企业家形式的偏好。这两者都与慈善事业有关。

让我们从宗教开始对此进行一些分析。 2014年,皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)发布了数据,将各国的人均财富与其人民的宗教信仰进行了比较。美国脱颖而出:

 

It’s easy to overlook the fact that philanthropy doesn’t just help the ­recipients—it offers profound life satisfaction to givers as well. It opens avenues to meaning and happiness and ways of thriving that aren’t easily found otherwise. When I was in college I had a philosophy professor named Louis Dupre who told me a story I’ve never forgotten. He had a wonderfully generous friend from whom he eventually fell away for the most paradoxical reason: this friend was unable to let Dupre be generous and giving in return. Receiving gifts and favors can be lovely, but there is also a potent and irreplaceable joy of giving that most people need to express.

The joy of giving is captured frequently in literature:

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.  —Victor Hugo

If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else. —Confucius

The best recreation is to do good.  —William Penn

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.  —Booker T. Washington

A man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away, the more he had.  —John Bunyan

Giving is an ancient impulse. Way back in 347 B.C., Plato donated his farm to support students at the school he founded. It is also a widespread impulse. Even people who have very little money are eager to give, and feel good when they do, as documented in several places later in this Almanac.

Lots of research shows that this is a common phenomenon. A 2014 book by two Notre Dame social scientists called The Paradox of Generosity combined national surveys with in-depth interviews and group observations. It concluded that “the more generous Americans are, the more happiness, health, and purpose in life they enjoy. This association…is strong and highly consistent…. Generous practices actually create enhanced personal well-­being. The association…is not accidental, spurious, or an artifact of reverse causal influence.” They conclude with the observation that “People often say that we increase the love we have by giving it away…. Generosity is like love in this way.”

In a 2008 paper published in Science, three researchers gave study participants money, asking half of the group to spend it on themselves, and the other half to give it to some person or charity. Those who donated the money showed a significant uptick in happiness; those who spent it on themselves did not. In his book Who Really Cares, economist Arthur Brooks cites a host of similar studies showing that Americans who make gifts of money and time are much more likely to be satisfied with life than ­non-givers who are demographically identical.

Philanthropy and business are entwined especially tightly in America. One of the most distinctive aspects of American capitalism is the deep-seated tradition of philanthropy that has evolved among American business barons. Our capitalism also differs from the capitalism practiced in other countries in two other important ways—in its linkage to religiosity, and its preference for entrepreneurial forms. Both of these are also connected to philanthropy.

Let’s unpack this a bit, starting with religion. In 2014, the Pew Research Center released data comparing the per capita wealth of nations with the religious beliefs of their people. The U.S. stands out like a sore thumb:


与朝圣者一起来到美国的加尔文主义(并至今一直统治着我们的宗教观点)都将财富视为成功者的象征,而管理这些家产的方法就是用这些家产来提高国人的生活。因此,约翰·洛克菲勒(John Rockefeller)逝世时已捐出了95%的财产。比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)正在捐出数百亿美元,而他的三个孩子每个都只有1000万美元。

这与欧洲的模式不同,在欧洲,许多相同的王朝代代代代相传。例如,霍华德家族(Howard family)在500多年来一直是英国首富之一。在美国,财富往往非常短暂。在今天的《福布斯》最富有的美国人名单中,只有15%到20%的人继承了财富。福布斯400强企业中大约有一半的父母根本没有上过大学。甚至以前富有的人留下的基金会也迅速在美国黯然失色:曾经是我们最富有的洛克菲勒基金会(the Rockefeller Foundation)现在仅排名第15位,而卡内基公司(the Carnegie Corporation)则跌至第24位。

美国资本主义的第二个独特方面是其企业家精神。正如经济学家佐尔坦·阿克斯(Zoltan Acs)和罗尼·菲利普斯(Ronnie Phillips)所写的那样,“美国资本主义与工业资本主义的所有其他形式不同”。其一是强调通过创业创造新财富。新的公司,新的想法和新的财富创造者是我们经济成功的核心。

这可以用很多方式证明。如果看当今世界上最大的500家公司,您会发现29%的美国公司是1950年以后成立的,而欧洲公司只有8%的公司才是在 1950 年后建立的。按人均计算,美国的白手起家亿万富翁企业家人数是欧洲的四倍。

企业家精神和慈善事业通常紧密相连,并与经济成功直接相关。瑞典研究人员蒂诺(Tino)和尼玛·桑南达吉(Nima Sanandaji)在他们的《超级企业家》一书中调查了来自世界各地的约1000名白手起家的亿万富翁。他们发现企业家精神,财富和慈善行为之间存在“非常紧密的联系”。

Acs和Phillips认为,除了通过新企业创造财富的独特方式外,美国还有通过慈善“重新建立”财富的独特方式。他们写道:“慈善事业是隐性社会契约的一部分,该契约不断地培育和振兴经济繁荣。” Sanandajis认为,慈善事业是美国财富回收的重要机制。他们写道:“存在这样一种观念,即应该将超过特定点的财富重新投资于社会,为子孙后代扩大机会。” “‘美国资本主义的合法性在一定程度上是通过富人的自愿捐款来维持的……’。因此,历史上创造的许多新财富已返还给社会。这对资本主义产生了一些反馈作用。首先,这种做法限制了一个皇朝的兴起。另一个积极的反馈机制是,对研究和高等教育的捐赠使新一代变得富有。”

 


讨论问题:

  1. 这篇文章对于慈善事业、慷慨解囊是怎么说的?
  2. 这篇文章对于美国的慈善事业是怎么说的?
  3. 这篇文章里的那些内容对您来说是未曾听说过的,或者您对其中那些内容感兴趣?
  4. 您看到在你周围有那些慈善事业和慷慨助人的事项?
  5. 您觉得您可以在那些方面进行慈善事业和慷慨助人?


www.salt-and-light.org/Audio/Philanthropy.mp3
 

The Calvinism that came to the U.S. with the Pilgrims (and continued to dominate our religious views for generations right up to the present) treats wealth as something that passes through the hands of a successful person—with the steward expected to apply it to uplift his fellow man. Thus John Rockefeller gave away 95 percent of his fortune by the time he died. Bill Gates is in the process of giving away tens of billions of dollars, leaving his three children only $10 million each.

That is different from the pattern in Europe, where many of the same dynasties have dominated the rolls of the wealthy for generations. The ­Howard family, for instance, has been one of Britain’s richest for more than 500 years. In the U.S., wealth tends to be extremely transient. Only 15 to 20 percent of the individuals on today’s Forbes list of richest Americans inherited wealth. About half the the Forbes 400 had parents who didn’t go to college at all. Even the foundations left behind by the previously wealthy rapidly get eclipsed in America: the Rockefeller Foundation, once our richest, now ranks a mere number 15, while the Carnegie Corporation has fallen to number 24.

A second distinctive aspect of American capitalism is its entrepreneurial bent. As economists Zoltan Acs and Ronnie Phillips write, “American capitalism differs from all other forms of industrial capitalism” in two ways. One is its emphasis on the creation of new wealth via entrepreneurship. New firms, new ideas, and nouveau riche wealth makers are at the core of our economic success.

This can be demonstrated in many ways. If you look at the 500 largest companies in the world today, you find that 29 percent of the U.S. firms were founded after 1950, compared to just 8 percent of the European firms. On a per capita basis, the U.S. has four times as many self-made billionaire entrepreneurs as Europe.

Entrepreneurialism and philanthropy are often tightly connected, and linked directly with economic success. In their book Super­Entrepreneurs, Swedish researchers Tino and Nima Sanandaji investigated about 1,000 self-made billionaires from around the world. They found “a very strong correlation” between entrepreneurship, wealth, and philanthropy.

Acs and Phillips argue that in addition to its distinctive means of creating wealth through new enterprises, the U.S. has a distinctive means of “reconstituting” wealth via philanthropy. “Philanthropy is part of the implicit social contract that continuously nurtures and revitalizes economic prosperity,” they write. Philanthropy is a very important mechanism for recycling wealth in America, agree the Sanandajis. “The notion exists that wealth beyond a certain point should be invested back in society to expand opportunity for future generations,” they write. “ ‘The legitimacy of American capitalism has in part been upheld through voluntary donations from the rich’…. Much of the new wealth created historically has thus been given back to society. This has had several feedback effects on capitalism. For one, the practice has limited the rise of new dynasties. Another positive feedback mechanism is that the donations to research and higher education have allowed new generations to become wealthy.”

source:   https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/article/big-picture-benefits-of-philanthropy


Discussion questions:

  1. What does this article say about the benefits of philanthropy, generosity or giving?
  2. What does this article say about American philanthropy?
  3. What is something new or interesting you learned from this article?
  4. How do you see philanthropy or generosity being applied around you?
  5. What ways could you apply philanthropy or generosity?