We can all help save the world.

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donateLike most people I’m sure, I go through ‘I need to help people’ phases all the time. I Google volunteering in my area on a regular basis, gather bucket loads of information and then, well, then, nothing. I never actually follow through with it.

I get inspired by people like Cate Bolt (I encourage you to check out her site: www.catherinebolt.com, and this post specifically: Realtiy is a funny thing.), but inspired to do what I’m really not sure.

Save all the starving children in the world. Sure. I’d love to. Host cancer fundraiser after cancer fundraiser and make a bucket load of cash for the various cancer charities. Sure. I’d love to. Volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and cheer up the sick kids. Sure. I’d love to.

You get my point. I often feel guilty about my life and often feel the need to give something back. Back to who? Well I’m not really sure.

I sponsor a little boy from Bangladesh, who is just so gorgeous and sends me the cutest drawings and his mum writes me the most heartfelt letters, but is that really enough.

People whinge about having a mortgage, but shouldn’t we be happy that we even just have a house in the first place. Unfortunately it’s human nature, and for that I can’t apologise, or even begin to try to change. I can change my own attitude and thinking and I often do.

But the sad reality is it doesn’t last very long, and I find myself saying to Hubby, where the bloody hell is our new dishwasher coz the old one is giving me the shits. Then I stop and think to myself, god that sounds ungrateful. And I shut myself up quicker than you can say dishwasher. But no doubt a few days later I’ll find myself in the exact same situation, having a whinge about something else.

I would have donated to at least 4 different charities since July this year, but that’s in a way taking the easy way out and just giving money as oppossed to giving away your time. Which one is more valuable? I’m not really sure. So I guess my point in all of this is, I’m sure we’d all love to save the world, but reality is, few of us would take any drastic measures to do so.

We shouldn’t feel guilty for the lives we lead, most of us have worked hard for it, but it’s also good to give back and to give to those less fortunate. And if you find someone inspiring, then do something with the inspiration. Buy Christmas presents that will benefit a charity, get rid of those old clothes to Vinnies that you’ve been hanging onto, and while all of this will have selfish tendencies behind it, because it’s making YOU feel better, at the same time you’ve also helped someone less fortunate than you.

And to those that have made life changing decisions and dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate I truly applaud you, and if you inspire a handful people to change one small thing in their lives and then they pass on the inspiration and so on, well then that WILL make a world of difference.

  • Jodie Ansted
    November 3, 2009

    I think the thing is to find something that really interests you and that you want to support, and then you’ll be more likely to put in the time. For me, right now it’s about giving my time to my childrens’ school, and helping them with fundraising and the local parish too. The school raised a lot of money recently, and being on the school’s P&F, I hope to make sure some of that money is put to good use in other communities overseas. At school, they raise money for the Missions and supply much needed water tanks to places in Fiji for example that really need it, and if I’m somehow involved in that, even in a small way, I’m glad to help. I’m hoping I can encourage a bit more money to go towards something like that. Our kids have a lot of great stuff at their school, and whilst they need a few more things, it would be great if some of that money went where it’s REALLY needed. We are very fortunate to have a well resourced school, and so many children overseas don’t have even one tenth of what we have.

    Good luck!

  • Ami
    November 4, 2009

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Jodie – if you can find something you enjoy, you’re more likely to want to put in the time. That’s fantastic what your boys’ school is doing and good on you for putting in all that time and effort.

  • Cate Bolt
    November 4, 2009

    Hmmm… interesting post. I’m glad I got you thinking. My job as a writer (which ironically is still what I call myself) is to make people think and I agree with your thoughts.
    People shouldn’t feel guilty for being fortunate, and they don’t need to give away all their worldly possessions to make a difference. In fact, I don’t think you even need to donate your time and/or money to make a difference.
    I believe that to save the world all we need is a shift in the way that we think – appreciate what we have, accept and embrace the differences in all humans, have compassion for our fellow man and respect the earth on which we live.
    If we could TRULY get all people to follow these basic ideals, that alone would be enough to save the world. I don’t agree that it’s ok to not save the world. But I think saving the world is a lot easier than people are making it out to be.
    We all have the power, and it comes from the heart.

  • Ami
    November 4, 2009

    That is why I love reading what you write Cate! You just know exactly how some things should be said. You’ve got me thinking even more now, about how we can all help the world. I always perceive helping as time and or money, but you’re exactly right, it could be as simple as changing a few things in your life. I guess a lot of what you do through your writing is education, and it’s certainly rubbing off on me. I now too disagree it’s ok not to save the world, when you think about if everyone just did something small, it could make a huge impact.

    Thanks so much for commenting.

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