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What is a Philanthropist?

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Do you give homeless people a buck here and there, drop money in the Salvation Army bell at Walmart, or give up your change at the local truck stop to help Timmy buy a wooden leg?  If so, does this qualify you as a philanthropist?

In the spirit of the holidays, and my 2016, yet unwritten, new year’s resolution to write more, I thought I would start early by tossing around the true definition of a philanthropist.   Years ago I was interviewed for a trade magazine, and was asked “What is your dream job?”  Well surely I was in my dream job, but in reality, my dream job was to be the executive director of the Red Cross.  Silly me, I was really young and later realized that I would need to be the wife of a US President to get that job. Then, in graduate school, I was asked again, “What is your dream job?”  My answer was to be a grant writer, which, after I learned how meager the pay would be, I decided I wanted to be a philanthropist.  But how can I be a philanthropist if I don’t have any money?  Alas, I can get a job giving away millions of dollars to grant applicants.  It didn’t matter who or what corporation I worked for, I just wanted to give away their money.  Maybe one day someone will hire me to do just that.

For now, I donate to various charities whenever I can, and hope it makes a difference.  But do I qualify as a philanthropist?

Philanthropy is described as . . . .”the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” 

Does buying a pack of cigarettes for a homeless guy count as generous or a good cause?  How about feeding the homeless cats next to my office?  Does our generosity have to be large?  Synonyms of the word “philanthropy” are  “benevolence, generosity, public-spiritedness (whatever that means), kindheartedness, compassion, unselfishness,” etc.  Considering the price of a pack of cigarettes, I would say that counts as philanthropy.

Most of us are not able to give away millions or dollars or be the executive director of a well-known charity, but our contributions add up. And if you only make $20,000 a year and still find a way to live and help out the Timmy’s of the world, then I certainly consider you a fellow philanthropist.

Make 2016 a good one!  Carpe Diem fellow philanthropists.

A Man and His Monkey

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As you have probably heard, the star wide receiver of the Dallas Cowboys football team, has a pet monkey.  I’m pretty sure it is illegal to have a primate of any kind in Dallas County, but yet, this prima donna is somehow allowed to have one.  The news media seems to be thrilled to report the story of a man with his “pet” monkey using a picture of a super cute baby monkey in the arms of someone wearing a Dallas Cowboy shirt.

It is quite despicable when people, who have no business owning a wild animal, adopt wild animals.  Hello – these are not domesticated animals even though they may not have necessarily been born in the wild.  Duh.

At some point, the wild instincts of “wild” animals, even a person’s pet monkey, are going to surface.  It could be in the form of anger.  What if the monkey has Tourette Syndrome?  It’s going to get upset at some point and bite someone’s ear off or throw feces in someone’s face.  Watch out Romo!  Then the monkey will end up in some zoo or maybe better, a nice sanctuary where it is rescued.  But for now, it must live in a house with a human that is not its mother, and be held to the expectation that it might possibly be the first monkey to play football.

I will leave you with a sobering thought.  Imagine aliens have invaded earth.  Now imagine that your girlfriend, wife, sister, friend, someone you love, has been anticipating the birth of a child, suffering 9 months of pregnancy (maybe some of it in August in Texas or Arizona, somewhere really freakin’ hot), and the baby is born.  It is beautiful and cute.  The invading aliens think it is super cute, so they steal it, and sell it for bitcoins to a fellow alien so they can gas up their space camera and take stupid pictures like this ….

Dez bryant baby

I have done some really hair-brained and stupid things in my life, so I know stupidity when I see it.  Someone literally took this baby monkey away from his or her mother.  A mother monkey is crying tears for her baby.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Carpe Diem to not being stupid.