Exploring the origins, ethics and future of changemaking

Archive for the ‘Origins’ Category

A short history of saving the world

In Culture, Origins on June 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Where did the modern idea of charity and doing good come from? The notion of the non-profit as the primary vehicle for change is incredibly new in the grand scheme of Earth’s history. There are many drivers behind doing good, and it has also taken many forms and structures in society and community over time. I frame it here deliberately not from the point of view of ‘doing good’, but what has driven the emergence of new forms. That drive is a deep cultural and psychological need to be ‘saved’ or ‘to save’.

It all began with this idea that The Gods will Save Us, or at least close to it. We actually originally thought we could save ourselves until we realised there were other forces at play beyond our control, AND, that saving oneself doesn’t always work!

So we attempted coexisting together for a while, yet were somehow powerless to the whims of the mighty Gods – victims in a world where we were unable to really make it for ourselves. This was at least until we noticed someone doing (or asserting) things a little different. He (or maybe she), showed us that …. Read the rest of this entry »