Peace challenge

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Sunday, August 31, 2014

INSTEAD of taking up the ‘ice bucket challenge”, can we not instead pursue the peace challenge, which if really taken seriously, could benefit not only those affected by war and displacement, but all of us as well who are living in this present generation and most especially the next generation, those whom we borrowed our present from. In this challenge, there is no rule to follow, but only genuine love and compassion for humanity and for creation.

At this time the so-called ice bucket challenge has taken the fancy of the social media and even the mass media. It is crazy how people, especially those who loves what is “uso” or craze in town, readily jumps at what they thought makes waves, not really because they want to help, though some might have that as a motive.

But seeing celebrities both local and international including those who are feeling “sikat” also supposedly challenged government officials to take the ‘baptism’ of ice which supposedly make one feel how people afflicted with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease undergo, an ailment which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.


It is said the people with ALS eventually “lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis,” according to internet sources. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival.

One of the reasons why fund raising was initiated by people pursuing the cause was for research purposes since not much is known about its causes and cure. Many are skeptical about this latest craze, but not a few also believed in it.

We say nothing is wrong with being part of this philanthropic effort, what is ironic that while we seem to be so generous for efforts outside our immediate concerns, we tend to overlook the immediacy of our domestic problems that is brought about by the lack of attention from those who have the responsibility and moral ascendancy to prevent and abate.

That is why it seems the height of hypocrisy that the world beholds government officials along with celebrities in high places to allow themselves to be shown on television and in social networks drenched with a bucketful of ice, but not lifting a finger to look closely and do something to the widespread hunger in our country in God-forsaken of poorest countries like Africa and more.

If only giant television stations reserve even a fraction of airtime to raise awareness about the dire need for food of the poorest peoples and nations in the world, it will surely help a lot. And what about those afflicted with the Ebola virus? Are they not more worthy to raise funds for, especially because the death toll in these communities is increasing by the second?

Would any celebrity or government functionary for that matter take a challenge to work for fund raising purposes for those who are being threatened by this dreaded disease? Are we all not disturbed by the urgency of this matter which is now reaching pandemic in proportion?

I guess we all need to check our priorities.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 01, 2014.


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