EoC The Inspiration
Culture of Giving
In the Economy of Communion, the producers – entrepreneurs, workers, and their business associates - are inspired by principles rooted in a culture different than what prevails in today's practice and theory of economics. We can define this "culture" as a "culture of giving" which really is the antithesis of a "culture of having".
Giving economic assistance can express a self-giving rooted in our very being. In other words, it can reveal an anthropological view that is neither individualistic nor collective but rather is communion.
A culture of giving is not some form of philanthropy or welfare - these are individualistic virtues.
In a deeper sense, the very essence of a person is to be in "communion."
Consequently, not every type of giving, not every act of giving creates a culture of giving.
For example, there is a "giving" which is contaminated by the desire to have power over another person and that seeks to dominate or oppress individuals and populations. This only appears to be "giving".
There is a "giving" that seeks satisfaction and self-gratification from the act of giving. In essence, this is an egoistic self-expression and usually is perceived by those who receive it as offensive and humiliating.
There is a "giving" that is self-interested, or utilitarian, found in some of the current neo-liberal tendencies that always seek their own advantage.
And finally, there is the "giving" that Christians find in the gospels.
In this giving, the giver opens up to the other person and remains respectful of his or her dignity. It generates an experience of the words in the gospel "give and it will be given to you" even for the managers of a business. These words from the gospel might manifest themselves to the businessperson in the form of a financial windfall, or in the unexpected discovery of an innovative technical solution, or as an idea for a new winning product.