When Good People Do Nothing Innocent People In Africa Don’t Get Clean Water

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This is a favorite quote of mine from Edmond Burke.  Read it again, it speaks volumes and absolutely drives me as I go about my life.  It also comes to mind as I think about Charity:Water and their mission to bring clean water to millions of people around the world.

If you are not aware of Scott Harrison and his new mission, you need to do your research.  Watch him tell his story, it’s quite inspiring and touching.  This September they are focusing specifically on Rwanda, and with that founder Scott Harrison is calling people to donate their September to bring clean water to Rwanda.

“Kids are carrying dirty water back to their homes each day knowing it will make them sick.”

I urge you to get creative and figure out how you can bring together hundreds of people to help make clean water a reality for people who don’t deserve anything less.  In fact, you could have been born in Rwanda.  Think about that for a second.  I’m starting to think about what we here in the Seattle Startup scene can do to add to the cause….

The Amazing Story Of How Charity:Water Was Founded And How You Can Do It Too

Charity: Water’s Scott Harrison talks with Kevin Rose about his past life and how he came to found Charity: Water.  It is an amazing story and one that will make you want to do more with your life.  I won’t ruin the story, but I do want to touch on a few things before you go and watch the interview.

As he is talking, Harrison makes a number of great observations around how we can go about our lives only to come to a dead end mid-life and wonder what the hell we are actually doing here.   Drugs, alcohol, partying, looniness, emptiness.  We easily slip into ruts where we become way too selfish, arrogant, entitled and  self-centered to look up and realize there are people on this earth who not only don’t do those things but don’t have access to the very things we take for granted like food, water and shelter.

Did you take a shower today with clean water?  Millions of people in the world did not.  How about a nice glass of ice-cold water?  Or were you able to cook your food long enough to kill all bacteria so you won’t get sick or a disease?  Again, millions cannot appreciate those things.  Did they choose to live this way?  Nope.  They were born into a life without clean running water, electricity or other things you and I take for granted in our daily lives.

We should all start to ask ourselves what a meaningful life looks like to us?  To quote Harrison, “Ya know, Jesus was actually a bad-ass dude walking around helping strangers and making people’s lives better.”  He wondered if he could take his life and do the same thing.

As I push forward in my entrepreneurial journey and build a tech company focused on communications and transactions, these sort of thoughts are not lost on me.   I hope my path is not just about solving first world problems.  We have a unique vision for how the mobile device will make your life easier and I look forward to bringing it to fruition.  But it will not just be available to the privileged few living on many thousands of dollars a month.  I aim to someday live a life like Scott Harrison and work towards bringing happiness to people all over the world – in cities as well as villages.

I challenge you to determine what you can do for people who live on a few dollars per month.   I choose to not think about charity as much as economically sustainable ideas, meaning I would rather see something come in and transform a culture by enabling economic growth over one-time charitable contributions.

What types of ideas can we bring to third world countries that have the power to radially transform their lives and lift them out of their challenging situations?  Harrison’s Charity Water is only a drop in the bucket.