While Andrew Carnegie’s “legendary” monetary and welfare contributions to the American society and the communities of English roots and heritages is the epitomic embodiment of philanthropic endeavors, the exploits were unequivocally the emanation of egoistic manifestations.
1. Philanthropy is not altruistic
The reality of philanthropy is that it is, at least in part, about creating a good feeling, leaving a legacy, feeling part of a community, fulfilling personal aspirations, and the confidence-boosting knowledge that through these actions one can somehow change the world. The vehicle for these goals is a cause that will somehow benefit humanity.
Even those with deeply sensed and conscious altruistic motives are effectively providing some self-validation for themselves, to assure that they “sleep better at night”. As confessed by some of the most seasoned philanthropists, for whom philanthropy was now their primary pre-occupation, their philanthropy was having the “opposite effect”. They felt better about themselves, their lives, and consequently slept just fine.
Often, the philanthropist doesn’t make the decision to give until there is a building to put “her”name on or another naming opportunity to establish recognition in perpetuity. The decision could often be based on the admiration of others or a deep sense of self satisfaction. This is because philanthropy is not altruistic. Rather, it is the confluence of altruism with egoism. Philanthropy is where selflessness and self-centeredness meet.
Legacy of Andrew Carnegie was “immortalized” in numerous monuments as follows:
* A statue erected in his birthplace to acclaim his bequest for the social betterment of his native town in Scotland through the establishment of The Carnegie Dunfemline Trust in 1903 which also maintains Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum
* Stained Glass Window dedicated to him in the National Cathedral despite him being a long-standing atheist with dominant scientific...