In this lovely essay, Nikos Salingaros observes:
Rarely do we find a person today who is a creator, who works with materials with his or her own hands to develop an object, in order to release a form from the formless material, who dares to imitate the divine act that creates order from disorder. This individual takes great pleasure in the creative act, even when the product is modest, and it nourishes the creator’s soul and helps the body become healthier.
Drawing upon the insights of Christopher Alexander, Salingaros writes with an eye to architectural creation, but we might productively consider his observations in light of philanthropy. To what extent is philanthropy “creative” or should it be? Does creativity mean designing something wholly new, or can it also involve an aesthetic re-creation and participation in a pattern of charity? Does the imitation of the Good Samaritan–like the craftsman who may repetitively carve a decorative design element–involve the making of wholeness that heals both the giver and the recipient?
It is encouragement to stick to my knitting–not merely of yarn but of the ideas that we are weaving to better reveal the tapestry of philanthropy.