To admire nothing: that is the only method I know to make men happy and to keep them so. Thomas Creech.
Self-cherishing is the root of all suffering. Tibetan saying.
Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone." Gospel of Thomas.
"Son, there is a difference between seeing through the game and winning it." Owner to player in North Dallas Forty.
I have been in the mix recently in several studies of donor advisors. In a recent one, now in draft, I noted the following confident quotation from a leading philanthropy advisor, "We help our donors get what they want." Well, yes, that is what I call The Courtier Role, or sales role, but usually advisors prefer the term, "Trusted Advisor," or Homme De Confiance. Some smile and call it "Consigliere."
The study in question stresses psychology as the model for working with donors. Psychology, though, is the discipline oriented to psychic health, whether of individuals or families. Moral philosophy (at least in Hellenic philosophy) might be the discipline oriented to moral health. Political philosophy might be oriented to the health of a society, or the body politic. Philanthropy might be oriented to virtue in action, human flourishing, or happiness, of donor families in community with others.
To allow ourselves to see gift consulting as psychology, or client service, essentially lubricating the family so they function more smoothly to get what they want, is demoralizing to me, though wordly wise. What a person wants and what is good for that person, let alone for society, may not be the same. Philanthropy is a Fool's errand run by the Wise.