Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
These are the words that swam into my mind when I learned about the theme of this year’s Blog Action Day: Water.
They come from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s great poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, at the point where the Mariner and his shipmates have lost their way, becalmed in uncharted waters, and start to give in to despair.
The cruel irony of undrinkable water is not just a poetic fantasy – for many people, it’s part of the grim reality of everyday life:
Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.
As I thought about what to write for today’s event, the words of Joseph Campbell came into my mind, almost as if he were answering back to the Mariner:
To see him stumbling around when all the waters of life are right there really evokes one’s compassion.
(Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth)
Campbell was talking about spiritual desolation, the person who is so wrapped up in his own problems that he has lost touch with the life around him. But I think the same principle applies to a practical challenge like finding clean water for everyone to drink.
With all the knowledge, wealth and creativity we collectively possess, there must be solutions all around us, waiting to be plucked out of the air – if we can only change our focus, and find a different way of looking at the situation.
Help charity: water – Buy the Age of Conversation 3 Today
One practical thing you can do today to make a difference to people in need of clean drinking water is to buy a copy of The Age of Conversation 3. You may recall that this is the book masterminded by Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton, and written by 171 authors (including me).
Not only will you get the benefit of the authors’ advice on using social media to make things happen in the real world, but the charity that benefits from each and every sale of the book is charity: water, one of the partners for Blog Action Day.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.
Amazingly, just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. An average water project costs $5,000 and can serve 250 people with clean, safe water – so purchasing a copy of the Age of Conversation 3 really can make a difference to someone’s life!
Gavin Heaton, The Age of Conversation
If you buy your copy of AOC3 today, it will help push the book up the Amazon charts and raise awareness of the issue and further sales, which means more contributions to charity:water.