Like millions of others, I watch friends and family take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and laugh and amuse myself. Arguably, it’s a fun and crazy way to spread the word about this dreadful disease. My children already know about Lou Gehrig’s Disease and its affiliates, that there is currently no cure for it, that it can strike anyone at any time. As children of nature and science, we are too familiar with Stephen Hawking‘s contributions to the world of astronomy and physics, despite his affliction with ALS.
Not to knock any diseases of homo sapiens, this is the real picture in my head every time I watch an Ice Bucket Challenge video.
It contrasts with the one at the beginning of this post, wouldn’t you say? It’s really hard to focus on one human disease when drinking from a water puddle brings to mind many diseases, all of which can be prevented just by providing clean water — free from contaminants. Watching all that H2O wasted just to become some 15-second video sensation seems…well, kind of selfish.
Where the average American consumes around 100 gallons of clean water, the average sub-Saharan African uses only two. What we need now is a paradigm shift and a renewed appreciation for our most valuable natural resource – clean, fresh drinkable water.