Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Drink It In

I only have a few minutes, but I've just got to share this.

My particular group of friends (and really, my whole city) are rather fitness-minded. Any get-together involves a lot of salad and discussions about various running injuries, upcoming races, and the best apps for tracking progress in workouts and diet, etc. It's entertaining and infectious. I enjoy being surrounded by people who constantly push to better themselves.

My phone has an app that tracks the number of ounces of water that I drink every day so that I can stay properly hydrated. I hear parents bemoan the fact that their kids don't drink water, that they'd prefer juice or milk or soda. I have a machine in my kitchen that turns tap water into sparkling water, so I can enjoy the crisp, refreshing bubbles whenever I feel like it. People spend twenty or thirty dollars on eco-friendly water bottles that don't leach carcinogens into their beverages. I can walk in my kitchen right now and turn on the tap and have as much cold, clean water as I want just flow out of it in abundance. None of these are necessarily bad things.

Here's a bad thing: there are almost 800 million people on this planet who don't have access to clean drinking water.

Here's another bad thing: unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation kill more people each year than all forms of violence combined.

While we work to make ourselves sweat and plan intricate workouts to keep the fat off; while we buy expensive gear to tote our water and ourselves around to stay fit, 800 million people can't get a glass of water that won't possibly kill them. Dysentery is not fun. Neither are parasites or river blindness or any number of nasty, nasty things that you can get from unsafe water.

I'm not going to stop exercising or counting my ounces, because this is the time and place into which I have been born. Rather than be wracked with guilt, I will take full advantage of my privilege as a citizen of a first world country. But that citizenship does carry some responsibility. At the very least, the responsibility of awareness, of perspective. It's overwhelming sometimes to think of all the huge and heartbreaking things that we can't fix. I can't fix the drinking water problem that exists over vast portions of the world. But there is this: an opportunity do do a little something to help out.

Students Rebuild is teaming up with the Bezos Family Foundation and charity : water to involve as many people as possible in raising awareness and funds for making a dent in the drinking water problem. Please take a minute to watch this short video and see if you can do something, too.

Check out the Students Rebuild website here for information on making and collecting paper beads to help raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water. 20 beads will provide water for one person in a village. Gather your own village and see how many people you can help.

On any given day, there are hundreds of causes that demand our attention. It's sometimes overwhelming and discouraging to stop and think of the staggering unfairness in this world. But when something simple comes around to do just a little bit to help alleviate suffering, drink it in.


Thanks for reading and taking the time to say hello!