In a previous post I discussed the problem with charity.
I recently came across an article written in 1889 by Andrew Carnegie called The Gospel of Wealth.
Andrew Carnegie was one of the steel barons of the early 19th century, regarded as the second richest man in the world during his time right after Rockefeller.
He was also known to be the most important philanthropist of his era.
He begins his article by discussing the responsibility of the wealthy:
“This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of models, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community – the man of wealth thus becoming the mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.”
THE PROBLEM WITH CHARITY…ACCORDING TO CARNEGIE…
“Of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity today, it is probable that $950 is unwisely spent; so spent, indeed, as to produce the very evils which it proposes to mitigate or cure. A well-known writer of philosophic books admitted the other day that he had given a quarter of a dollar to a man who approached him as he was coming to visit the house of a friend. He knew nothing of the habits of this beggar; knew not the use that would be made of this money, although he had every reason to suspect it would be spent improperly. The quarter-dollar given that night will probably work more injury than all the money which its thoughtless donor will ever be able to give in true charity will do any good. He only gratified his own feelings, saved himself from annoyance, – and this was probably one of the most selfish and very worst actions of his life, for in all respects he is most worthy.”
CARNEGIE’S VERSION OF MY ‘GIFT IT FORWARD’ IDEA…
“In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves; to provide part of the means by which those who desire to improve may do so; to give those who desire to rise the aids by which they may rise; to assist, but rarely or never to do all. Neither the individual nor the race is improved by alms-giving.”
I highly recommend any Gifted Entrepreneur to pick up a copy of The Gospel of Wealth as soon as humanly possible!
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