Not a do-gooder, just a doer of good

A new NBC series called The Philanthropist brings high action drama to the work of helping the poor.  Partly based on the life of Bobby Sager, a Boston businessman, the show tells the story of Teddy Rist, a rich playboy who has lost his son and sets out recklessly to make a difference in hurricane-ravaged Nigeria. Sager’s own life and giving are much more considered.  Yet, he does advocate a more involved kind of philanthropy that does more than simply write big checks. Sager, a Jew, explains, “I’m not a do-gooder, I’m a doer who has figured out this hands-on, eyeball-to-eyeball philanthropy is the way to live the fullest life.”

The show has its flaws, but it’s fast-paced and doesn’t sidestep the complexities of actually doing good in war-torn nations with corrupt bureacracies. The philanthropic community is taking notice, thrilled that the topic of charitable philanthropy is finally getting some airtime.  Diana Campoamor, President of Hispanics in Philanthropy writes, “for the first time in recent pop culture history, a depiction of someone who calls himself a philanthropist (until recently, one of the most boring words in our language to most people), will have a chance to enter our homes and make us all aware of the need for the truly-lived, philanthropy-centered life.  That in itself is a big accomplishment.” A bonus for those of us who can’t swing the Weds 10pm timeslot, we can watch The Philanthropist online at hulu.com.  Here is a promo:


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~ by alambrista on July 21, 2009.

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