In recent years, philanthropy has become an essential ingredient in popular culture—from Oprah’s Big Give and Idol Gives Back to the eponymous television show The Philanthropist. But often what “philanthropy for the masses” lacks is a thoughtful grounding in the moral and religious principles of giving. In Being Generous Ted Malloch, a sharp businessman and mindful philanthropist in his own right, delivers an insightful and practical guide to the art of giving.
Malloch’s purpose is the “embracing of generosity as a virtue” which he examines through religion, science and economics. Synthesizing recent research from the medical sciences combined with classical economics and traditions from the world’s religions (even secular beliefs), Malloch provides a comprehensive understanding of what generosity means, where it comes from, and the power it holds in our lives. In short, being generous is not just about monetary contributions or adhering to a suggested tithe, but rather the joyous action of sharing our time, talent and treasure.
Being Generous rightfully does not ignore the dark side of philanthropy—giving that is misguided or uninformed. By highlighting the serious dilemmas of international development assistance, Malloch is not afraid to ask tough ethical questions, including “What does it mean to help someone?”
Beautifully interspersed in the text are vignettes that spotlight the work of noted philanthropists. From Andrew Carnegie, one of America’s early industrialists, to Jeffrey Skoll, today’s social entrepreneur, these vignettes shine a bright light on how philanthropists, grounded in the philosophy of being generous, have made a significant impact with their giving.
This book is accessible to people in all stages of life, of all faiths and of all traditions. No matter where you are in your “formation” (indeed, formation is a life-long journey) careful study of generosity may just bring you closer to peace and fulfillment. —Dr. Patrick Rooney