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Social Media can be a marvelous tool in reaching out to, motivating and activating people. In the case of the ice bucket challenge, it is my opinion the media is missing an important point. Activating people, no matter how well meaning, should not come at the expense of other causes or groups. Helping while potentially causing harm is no help at all.
I have a challenge for you. Before you dump a bucket of ice water over your head, think of the millions of people dieing of thirst around the world. The vast majority of them have no access to Social Media. Many of them are children who have no idea of what is happening to them. All they know is they are thirsty. Now visualize the parched fields where food used to grow but doesn't because of drought. Catch a news broadcast of the brush and forest fires scorching ever more of the landscape and see the brave firefighters risking their lives to put out those fires. The fires are worse than before due to lack of rain, due to lack of water to fight the fires as well as other causes.
ALS is a horrible disease. It is an irreversible, degenerative nerve disease that gradually robs a person of their functions of living from muscle movement to speech to taking a breath. It ends in death. There is no cure. According to the ALS website, some 30,000 people in the US suffer from ALS at any given time with some 5,600 people diagnosed with the disease each year. Visit the ALS website at http://www.alsa.org/ to learn more.
However, before you reach for that bucket, please consider that 1.1 billion people lack a source of pure drinking water. That's 1 out of 6 people on the face of the earth. 4,500 children under the age of 5 die every day from drinking contaminated water. These are numbers from the The Thirst Project which is dedicated to helping solve this global disaster. Visit their website at http://www.thirstproject.org/ to learn more about this growing global disaster.
At the time of this post it is estimated 5,000,000 gallons of water have been used in the challenge. That's 20,000,000 million quart bottles of water and counting. As I understand the challenge, if you accept you in turn challenge three more people. If they accept, they do the same. This is similar to a classic pyramid scheme. If you accept, challenge three people, they accept and each challenge three more, etc., after just 20 re-challenges you will mathematically have reached just over 1.1 billion people (the same number estimated to lack clean drinking water) and devoted over 290,000,000 gallons of water to the effort - enough to give each of them a bottle of water rather than dumping it on the ground. This, of course, is unlikely to happen - at least I hope so.
It is your choice to make. However, I suggest that, at a minimum, you contribute to ALS research but leave the water in the bucket. Better yet, contribute to ALS research and also send a check to The Thirst Project to help in supplying drinking water to some poor child whose face you'll never see on Social Media. I challenge you to think about your actions before doing the bucket challenge because of the hype and "cuteness" of it. The ALS sufferers and those dieing of thirst deserve better.
"Chocolate Bar, The Book"
There currently is no cure for the disease and, because of its rareness, funding on research was going to end. Dylan had met Jonah in school and they became best friends. Dylan decided he wanted to help his friend so he wrote his book.
All proceeds go directly to funding research on finding a cure. Dylan has a goal of raising $1,000,000. To date, over $400,000 has been raised. If you want to help Dylan reach his goal and save Jonah and others suffering from this rare and fatal disorder, go to http://chocolatebarbook.com/. Oh, by the way, Dylan was 6 years old when he wrote the book. He's seven now and wise way beyond his years.
"Just One More Day In the Driver"s Seat"
Nanci R. Rainey has written "Just One More Day In the Driver"s Seat" published through Tate Publishing February 2012. "Just One More Day...". Is a personal memoir of her son, Billy's daily struggles, positive accomplishments as well as failed attempts at controlling the mutation of DSRCT cancer cells. DSRCT (Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor). Is an extremely rare strain of cancer, with only about 100 (a number which may change over time) published cases in the New England Journal of Medicine. A portion of the profits from the sale of the book are marked DSRCT research. The book is for sale in both written and eBook format, available at Barnes&Noble.com, Amazon.com, through Nanci's website, www.nancirainey.tateauthor.com; and also available through Tate Publishing.com.
Life Comes With Many Choices. Choose Wisely and Share Love With All You Meet.
We stumbled across a link to this video and wanted to share it with those visiting our site. In an age where there seems to be an overabundance of fear and hate, even by those claiming to be religious, it might be time to sit back a think and look at what we make of our lives. Please go to http://www.thedashmovie.com/walkthetalk.
Even if you don't agree with the words, the pictures are beautiful.
Here is a message we received from a friend. It speaks to all the world if only we allow ourselves to READ CAREFULLY TO COMPREHEND!
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'
The Lord led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'
'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'
Remember that I will always share my spoon with you.
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Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
It is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi
Listen to some of the words spoken by Robert F. Kennedy. Think about the meaning of what he said. You may or not agree with his political beliefs, but we think it important to consider what we can each learn from his words.
"Tragedy is a tool for living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live"
"Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks said so many years ago to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world let us dedicate ourselves to that"
"Some men see thing as they are and say why I dream things that never were and say why not"
If your organization has something you would like to share with our site visitors, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider posting it as a future "Focus" item.
The Staff at WeCareToo