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The old saying that ‘charity begins at home’ could be usefully extended to ‘charity begins in your circle of friends and family’. Helping your friends and family is simply paying forward the benefits and advantages you have received in your own life. It doesn’t have to have a religious context, or be shouted about from the rooftops.

If there are only ‘six degrees of separation’ to another person on the Planet, perhaps the best pathway to help the World, may well be the ‘rippling outwards’ from the circles of all of our F&F. To elaborate, caring is stronger when the personal connection is stronger. This isn’t about replacing charities and philanthropy, But about widening the definition of such things. After all, charitable activity can be effective, even when the entity concerned isn’t listed on the Charity Commission website. Altruistic acts also occur, because they define us as a higher order species.

Altruism and welfare improvement can sit comfortably outside a commercial relationship. Or outside a charitable organisation with the trappings of a commercial organisation; complete with its KPIs, budgets, organisational hierarchies, stakeholder relationship management and endless committees… Perhaps in a nation where too many people expect the State to solve their own problems, the family connections are real relationships to work on.

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