What’s with all this saving the world crap?

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life22 Comments


A friend of mine who I will refer to as She Who Shall Not Be Named, said something very similar to this blog post title the other day [edited to add: she was being cheeky and not disrespectful in any way]. In short, she wanted to know why I was all gung ho on trying to save the world via charity: water.

I thought it was a good question, I mean, why AM I all of a sudden gung ho, and why is this charity my present focus and not another extremely deserving one with possibly a more domestic slant?

First things first: I admire simplicity. The simplicity of the charity: water campaign is brilliant: clean water to drink with every single dollar you donate going to do just that. You aren't paying for the administrative support of the organization; just the process of providing clean water.

Second: I admire charity: water's push for sustainability. It's not just band-aid solutions to problems, and it's not just us going in and fixing things. It's us working with local people within local communities to build the wells, and to keep them running.

Third: Clean water to drink really is something I take for granted in my life.

Having a blog that people read is an honor and a privilege. I spend a certain percentage of my life being a bit less than thankful for life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. True, part of what I like to write about can often be filed under the category of "Cheeky" or "Ultimately Irrelevant in the Grand Scheme of Things," but my hope is always that it connects with readers, whatever it might be that brings them to this lovely Typepad home of mine.

Scrapbookers are very generous people. This is what I have found in the past number of years. They rally to fill needs. I have seen it time and time again. From the most enormous of causes to the ones that wouldn't even be on the radar were it not for a thoughtful person and a public message board.

I thank those of you who have donated to my charity: water campaign. I think I may have to raise the goal above and beyond $5,000, because clearly it's going to be met and exceeded.

I thank those who've left their comments thus far… people who aren't just giving up 5 bucks for scrap supplies, but their daily Starbuck's, or their lunch money, or their birthday age in dollars.

And what do I get out of all of this? I feel like I partially make up for the times I'm a less than stellar example of a human being. I get to get YOU readers, a group of diverse women and men I am truly lucky to have, to join me in making a dent in just one small area of need in our global community.

And that feels pretty dang good.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.

Cathy ZielskeWhat’s with all this saving the world crap?

22 Comments on “What’s with all this saving the world crap?”

  1. #2

    How insular is the person who thinks saving the world is crap – seriously??!!

    We are blessed to be a blessing to others – simple as that!

  2. #3

    What your friend [SWSNBN] and others might not realize, Cathy, is that what happens in the world as a whole will eventually affect us. I’m sure some folks might wonder why we should care about China’s or Japan’s or Thailand’s environmental policies – but that feeling might change if they learned that about 75 percent of the air pollution floating above some cities in the Western US originates in China.

    Sheds a different light on things, doesn’t it?

    The same holds true for giving aid to underdeveloped and impoverished nations. When people are solely focused on living for one more day, they aren’t all that concerned with environmental sustainability – they’ll burn polluting fuel, they’ll cut down old growth forests, they won’t practice good stewardship of the planet because that goes up against the whole “not wanting to die” thing.

    And their inability to be environmentally sound DOES impact us at some point. Make no mistake about that.

    And I’m with you. I think it’s criminal that people in developed countries take for granted that they can turn a faucet and have access to clean water. Contrary to popular belief, clean water is NOT an inexhaustible resource. But when you can just walk over to your sink and get water – that makes it a lot easier to waste water. I bet our habits would change if we had to walk five miles in one direction to get water and only had access to whatever we could carry back home.

    I don’t think you should feel that you have to defend your choice of charities. You found a cause you felt strongly about and you took up its standard and blew the trumpet. Some people might complain that there are tons of charities in the US that you could’ve chosen to support; however, as I just described, helping folks in Africa or wherever will eventually help people in our country. It’s all interconnected.

    On behalf of all those folks who are going to have fresh water due in part to your efforts, I’ll say thank you.

  3. #4

    Cathy, I love the campaign and I thank you for sharing this noble cause with the rest of us! πŸ˜€ Any opportunity to do GOOD even in the smallest way is a blessing and a gift!

  4. #5
    Cindy McDannold

    In our lives, we don’t connect to one another simply by chance. On some level we have realized that this was meant for us to do. Big, small or in between we take one more step to fullfilling our destiny.

  5. #6

    Your posting today reminds me of the Starfish Story:

    The Starfish Story…
    by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

    Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a little boy, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

    He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The little boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the little boy replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

    Discouraged he began to walk away. Suddenly the little boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.” The man looked at the little boy inquisitively and thought about what he had said and had done. Inspired, he joined the little boy in throwing the starfish back into the ocean.

    No, you can’t save the world but you can provide clean water for one small part of it. That’s reason enough for me.

  6. #7

    Generally, I’m not much of a scripture-quoting kind of gal, and I’m in an agnostic phase of my life right now anyway, but I can’t forget the faith that I learned at my grandmother’s knee, which is pretty much summed up by St. Paul: “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” I don’t always do as good a job of that as I should–nor does anyone I know–but the Charity: Water campaign gives us a chance to embrace the whole world as our neighbors–which they undoubtedly are. Brava to you, Cathy, for getting so many of us involved!

  7. #8
    Dixie Lee

    Having lived in a country where drinking bottled water was a necessity and not merely a fad – I applaud you.

    There are many things we can do without, WATER is not one of them.

  8. #9
    Jennifer Larson

    I read your post within a couple days of my Grandmother’s birthday. This became my present for her, a woman who always says she doesn’t need anything, so we give to others. Thank you for your giving heart.

  9. #11

    Ditto, to all these posts and their messages as well as your support and highlighting of this issue and way to address it. I feel better knowing I live in a world where we all understand that we are interconnected. Love you Neighbors!

  10. #12

    You have simply given us a very convenient opportunity to do something small that could become something big for someone less fortunate. Thanks for hooking us up!

  11. #13

    Just tell her to think of you when she turns on the tap for that glass of clean water. She takes our clean water for granted.

  12. #14
    Cyd Houghton

    I’m glad the fundraising is going so well. (Get it well=well, he he πŸ™‚ ) Go Scrappers–raise that goal, go for 2,3, or more wells! Here’s to helping the world access more clean water! Thanks for bringing light to this charity.

  13. #16

    My kids were grateful that I brought up Charity Water to them. Ages 12,11 and 8-three boys who suddenly realized that the water they drink is a gift and that they could help other children. My 8 year old asked if the water in our dog’s dish was cleaner than the water other children are drinking. My heart broke–he truly had listened to the conversation at dinner and I pray that he will for a lifetime be sensitive to the needs of others. Thank you Cathy. You have used your blog to help children– the sign of a truly a decent, remarkable human being. To the person who sent her criticism Cathy is too good for you!

  14. #17

    thanks cathy. it feels good to know that by giving a little, we can personally make a difference! i appreciate knowing i’m helping someone in serious need. thank you!!

  15. #18
    Alex McKellar

    thanks for being an inspiration and using your platform to do something like this. There can be no such thing as too much charity, when it’s something sustainable and forward thinking, like this organisation is.

  16. #19

    Hi Cathy,
    I too, know someone that has said things similar to your friend (yes, cheeky in the same way, too). All I can say is that I hope I made a difference in someone’s life, so matter how small a contribution I make. I am blessed to have the basic necessities in life for myself and my family. I am sad to not be able to donate as much as I would really like to (not to just the charity:water campaign, but numerous others). On a happier note: I really love reading your posts – they are very funny & make my day!

  17. #20

    More power to you and everyone should get behind a cause that can improve the quality of live for any human being,
    Power In Positive Energy, Hugs, Diane

  18. #21

    This is a fantastic cause to support Cathy. Good luck.
    I really want to help out, and have a great idea. I’ve emailed you my thoughts.
    Keep up the great work!!

  19. #22

    Brilliant. A charity that gives a 100% of its donations to carry out its mission statement.

    Everybody on my Christmas list is getting a donation made in their name and an aluminum water bottle from REI.

    Thanks for sharing this Cathy.

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