Waste in the name of helping others is still waste

Nearly a year ago, a video went viral, spawning an alarming season of waste: Dump this bucket of icy cold water on your head or donate a large chunk of money to this charity.

A few months in, not an hour would go by without seeing countless videos of gallon after precious gallon of water being spilled onto pavement, porches, etc., all in the name of charity.

It was a wonderful cause and raised millions of dollars, and perhaps it will eventually save lives. What did it cost us, though? More importantly, what precedent did it set?

Multiple people died doing the ice bucket challenge. This includes the fireman controlling a lift, the girl who had the bucket dropped from several feet in the air, and the list continues. Was this worth $10? Is sacrificing a handful of innocent lives worth a few million dollars?

The long-term impact is the enormous waste. Millions upon millions of gallons of water simply evaporated for nothing. Water is and will always be our most precious natural resource on Earth.

The arguments would soon follow to challenge this theory of waste. What about car washes, water parks, golf courses, etc? These are valid arguments, but do we really need to add to that waste?

So, the fad is over, and people got their 15 seconds of fame. We haven’t seen a wasted bucket of water in months, so why bring this up now? The precedent has been set.

Doing something incredibly stupid on video, challenge others to do the same, and you can raise a ton of money.

It was joked at the time that what was next? Burn down a tree? Slaughter a baby bunny? As it turns out, this wasn’t too far from the truth.

The newest trend is the Egg Crack Challenge. Yes, you guessed it. Crack an egg over your head, on video, of course, and donate a little bit of money, or you can donate a lot of money to avoid the challenge.

While we sit by and laugh as we dump water on people or crack eggs on our heads, the rest of the world is laughing at us — cynically, I might add. There are countries drinking and bathing from water that also serves as their toilet.

There are kids who simply die of starvation. Yet we find some form of amusement in wasting the very things that could solve these problems?

There was a day and age where people simply donated frequently because it was the right thing to do.

People donated because it made them feel good.

Donations were made to help out families, organizations, cities, etc. that were in need. You are surely answering a higher calling by sending $1,000 anonymously to the local shelter than you are by acting like a fool on video and sending $10.

We live in a “one-up” world now where the next thing always has to be bigger than the last thing.

If this horrifying trend of waste and destruction continues, I fear for what our children will be subjected to all in the name of charity. How much more waste, destruction and death do we have to endure before we say enough is enough?

Jason Reed is a lifelong Hancock County resident. He lives in Greenfield.