Friday, August 22, 2014

Thoughts on the ALS Ice Water Challenge

I don't like to think of myself as a spoil sport. Or a poopoo head.
But I'm having second thoughts about the whole ALS Ice Water Challenge.
They are not original thoughts. It's just that they seeped in between all the challenge videos and kind of turned things around for me in my head.

Don't get me wrong. I've watched every one of the ice dumping videos put up on Facebook. My particular favorite is Laura Bush dousing George W.  I think the people who have stepped up to the plate - or bucket as the case may be - are good sports. I'll be honest. I don't think I could have withstood the cold unless I'd been standing out in the Jacksonville heat for a few hours. I'll use my surgery as an excuse if I'm ever challenged. It makes a lot more sense to me to send the money and stay dry as send the money and get drenched like a polar bear.

I'm sure the ad campaign has raised several buckets full of dollars for research to cure ALS. Whoever thought the whole thing us is an advertising genius. But ….

What about the people who live in areas where water is rationed?
What about the firemen who need every drop of water they can get to put out fires raging through forests?
What about people in Detroit whose water is turned off because there's no money in the government to pay for it?
What about people in war torn countries and refugee camps where clean drinking water is a saving grace?
What about people who don't have water to cook with or bathe in?

As I'm writing I  have a vision of children playing in the streets on a summer day, sprayed by water from a fire hydrant. Another of a yellow slip 'n' slide stretched across our front lawn with neighborhood kids skidding across the slick plastic. In both scenes, the children are laughing and having fun. Similar to the crazy adults pouring ice water over their heads. I'm not against fun. Nothing makes me smile more than the sound of children laughing.

I'm just saying water is a precious commodity and maybe it shouldn't be squandered. Even in the name of doing something good. At the very least, when dumping ice water on someone's head  try to remember that every drop of ice water spilled and every tear shed, can be matched drip for drip. Oh for the day when every person fighting ALS and every thirsty child can raise a glass of pure, clear water in a toast to the people who dug deep into their pockets to fund a cure or a well rather than freeze their patooties off.

May it be so,
Merry ME

In case you're interested in donating to places that help provide clean water to those in need, check out some of these sites:


Anonymous said...

My daughter made a similar comment about taking water for granted. Though you said it far more eloquently, How many of us put clean water at the top of our list for what we are grateful for?
I read that the CEO of Nestle Corporation does not think that Clean water is a right. Said after Nestle bought water rights in 3rd world countries and forced them to pay for their own water...
The power of perspective.

Heather LeFebvre said...

good thoughts!