Saturday, June 13, 2009
The basic need for all life.
I hope you check out the Water Mission International website.
In some ways Americans are a very perplexing people. After centuries of being for both good and bad the most dynamic and creative people on the planet we seem to have settled, at least for now, into some sort of middle aged-like induced lethargy. Often we seem all too eager just to ignore what is going on here in the forgotten corners of our country and around the world when it threatens to disturb our placid middle-class stupor.
Many of us have willingly sacrificed the responsibilities and duties of American citizenship for the curious title of American consumer and the frivolous nature of living life beyond our means on easy credit ignoring the near serf-like terms in the fine print on the bills we never read. Safely tucked away in our suburban homes surrounded by chemically maintained green lawns we watch the news of the day and see how many of our leaders dance on the head of an Orwellian pin about “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” assuring us that they have kept us safe but yet can’t tell us the details. Even as something as basic to the maintenance of life itself, drinkable water, is wasted with oblivious abandon on the washing of cars, private pools, and taking care of those all so precious green lawns so we can in miniature copy stately English manors. Americans have even succumbed to the lower slimy denizens of Madison Avenue by taking to buying water in expensive stores with only a pretty exotic picture stuck to the cheap non-biodegradable plastic bottle ignoring the same thing that flows from their taps at home. If only much of the rest of the world had the advantage to do the same thing.
Despite the basic need for water that all human beings require, for much of the rest of the world the struggle for something so vital is often a totally consuming struggle leaving time for little beyond basic existence. More than a billion people worldwide simply do not have access to drinkable water and two billion people do not have adequate sanitation opening the door for a whole range of diseases. These conditions contribute largely to perpetuating the poverty cycle in developing countries leaving adults unable to work and children unable to attain school. Without work or education there is little hope of breaking the cycle of poverty.
I could sit all day typing away on facts and figures concerning how the lack of clean water affects people around the world. That the on-going water crisis kills nine million people each year. That every fifteen seconds a child dies from a water related illness involving diarrheal diseases, parasitic diseases, or water washed diseases such as Trachoma that causes blindness. However, for many such facts would fly over their heads as they pursue their daily lives shuttling kids to soccer matches, making the next big deal over the cell phone, or working towards that newer house with the bigger kitchen. There is nothing wrong with any of that and honestly no matter how comfortable the lives of others may seem we all have our own heavy burdens. Its just that some hide them better than other, even to themselves.
Despite this we can do better, there are groups out there working hard to enable the less fortunate to supply themselves that most basic of need, clean water. Even with our burdens every moral, religious and ethical framework around the world calls for those with more to help those who struggle with so little. Such help can be supplied through charities both secular and religious in nature. One that I have to recommend is Water Missions International located in Charleston, South Carolina. This organization was brought to my attention by the extra lovely and super intelligent Ms. Joan Perry at the blog “Charleston Daily Photo”. Before someone goes off scoffing at my rantings in no way do I set myself above anyone else as some tower of moral virtue. Its just that I have become increasingly uneasy at my own advantages and wish to change my ways. In the end that is all any of us can hope to achieve.