Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Cost of Water

A couple weeks ago a magazine from Compassion International arrived in our mail. Therein I read an article about a project to provide clean drinking water for people in the Dominican Republic (to read, click here). The author tells of impoverished families forced to choose between paying for clean water and other basic necessities. The tap water there is so contaminated that people get sick from bathing in it. Compassion is helping to provide safe water at a fraction of the cost that they would normally pay. I often thank God for our abundance of water that we freely use for hot baths, watering our plants, and brewing espressos.

Several days later, we received in our Sunday paper a insert of coupons from Procter and Gamble. They are participating in an initiative called the Give PŪR® Water Project. For each coupon redeemed, P&G will provide one liter of clean water to someone who thirsts. So, when I buy my Tide detergent, I can save 50 cents and help provide a drink! They are doing the same thing for their April coupons.

In striking contrast to people with unsafe water, I was shocked by a few things I read in the paper a couple days later. There was an ad for a plastic surgeon encouraging men to have abdominoplasty to sculpture their abs. There are some very important uses for plastic surgery and reconstruction. However, I think that a washboard stomach should come about the old fashioned way. People are free to spend their money as they please, but this overindulgence scares me.

When we were working with Athletes in Action, Ryan and I would share with people that sport is one of the largest religions in our nation. Consider this, prime seats in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium require and initial payment of $150,000 and an annual ticket fee of $3400. It is possible to finance your football tickets over 30 years just like you would a home. See for yourself at the local newspaper's website. It appears that about 1/6 of the new stadium has this club seating, with the cheapest of the club seats costing $16,000 one-time, and $3400 a year. Inconceivable, isn't it?

With the recent news of the pharmaceuticals in our drinking water, I cringe slightly before drinking, but then I take a swig, thankful that a few traces of antibiotics are the greatest of my worries. And I pray that all of us, including those spending tens of thousands for stadium seats, would give a little to provide clean water for others.

No comments: