— Mahatma Gandhi
The word 'philanthropy' was coined 2500 years ago in ancient Greece by the playwright Aeschylus. The author told as a myth how the primitive creatures that were created to be human, at first had no knowledge, skills, or culture of any kind, so they lived in caves, in the dark, in constant fear for their lives. Zeus, the tyrannical king of the gods, decided to destroy them, but Prometheus, a Titan whose name meant “forethought,” out of his "philanthropos tropos" or “humanity-loving character” gave them 2 empowering, life-enhancing, Gifts: FIRE, symbolizing all knowledge, skills, technology, arts, and science; and OPTIMISM or “blind hope”. The two went together, with fire, humans could be optimistic; with optimism, they could use fire constructively, to improve the human condition.
The new word, φιλάνθρωπος PHILANTHROPOS, combined two words: φίλος 'philos', “loving” in the sense of benefitting, caring for, nourishing; and ἄνθρωπος 'anthropos', “human being” in the sense of “humankind”, “humanity”, or “human-ness”. What Prometheus evidently “loved”, therefore, was their human potential, what they could accomplish and become with “fire” and “blind hope”.
The two gifts in effect completed the creation of humankind as a distinctly civilized animal. 'Philanthropia', or loving what it is to be human, was thought to be the key to, and essence of, Civilization. (source: wikipedia)