The value chain of the human network is anchored in acts of caring and giving and not uncaring and taking. Yet the markets of institutional production continues to propagate messages and use methods that show an uncaring attitude and actions that prove an intention to take and not give.
Why Caring & Giving Work
Caring and giving has always been and will always be the fiber of the human network. The word, philanthropy, combines two words: philos, “loving” in the sense of benefiting, caring for, nourishing; and anthropos, “human being” in the sense of “humankind”, “humanity”, or “human-network”.
Since the beginning of time man adopted the “love of humanity” as an educational ideal, whose goal was excellence in the fullest development of body, mind and spirit, which is the essence of liberal education. The philosophical dictionary defines philanthropic as: “A state of well-educated habits stemming from love of humanity. Today “philanthropy” may best be defined as, “private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life.”
An American Ideal
America was formed based on the ideals of philanthropy. Colonial society was built by volunteers, or “private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life”. The philosophy permeated American life, were a distinguishing feature of the American character and culture, and a key to American democracy. Early Americans did not rely on others — government, an aristocracy, or the church — to solve their public problems; rather, they did it themselves, through voluntary associations, which is to say, philanthropy, which was characteristically democratic.
The first form of government proposed for the new nation was called an “Association”. The final form, the United States Constitution, proceeded as a voluntary association, also beginning with a mission statement and—another “first” in history—ratified by vote of its members, “The People”. The Constitution’s “Preamble” featured private initiative, public good, and quality of life:
“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
In 1776, Thomas Paine had written in Common Sense, his very popular and influential tract for independence:
“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind (emphasis here) are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested.”
As Ben Franklin had said to the French about the American Revolution: “We are fighting for the dignity and happiness of human nature.” Ben Franklin’s words of over 200 years ago represent the same struggles of the modern-day and social media reflects people’s sentiment about all things.
What Should Your Brand Do?
Whether on-line or off the true attraction to our brand is based on the words, actions and relevant meaning to the fiber of the human network, caring and giving. We, the people, care enough to give and now we expect markets to understand the value chain that drives our network, not theirs.
Don’t take my time and attention. Give me yours and I’ll know you care.