A QUESTION FROM JAY LAVENDER
I have a WHAT IF for YOU
What if some guy named KENNA, inspired by an unsuccessful attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, his Ethiopian heritage and his father, decided to return to climb Kili to raise awareness for the global water crisis?
And what if he got a few friends to climb with him and then a few of their friends to run the project with him and then they all got a bunch of friends and strangers, many with no climbing experience, to agree to go with them?
And what if HP, PUR, Windows 7 and First Ascent and REVO sponsored money and provided gear during a time when most companies were slashing their marketing budgets?
And what if the group bonded effortlessly through a common purpose, stories, laughter and striving physically side-by-side?
And what if people all over the world, intrigued by something that wasn’t cynical, selfish or political in these difficult times, followed these people, strangers 7 days ago and now friends for life, as they trekked together up an African mountain with a film crew, photographers and a writer watching and capturing every step…not because these people wanted the attention but because it was the only way they could figure out how to cut through all the chatter and get YOUR ATTENTION?
And what if people started paying attention and learning more and talking about the global water crisis with their friends, family, coworkers and even strangers?
And what if all those people realized they could make a difference?
And what if they decided not to wait for someone else to do it but instead decided to donate their valuable time, energy and hard earned money to solving the problem?
And what if one day, we were all able to look back and say when that moment was when we said, “I had no idea that 1 billion people don’t have access to clean water or that 7 billion gallons of water a day leaks out of America’s decrepit infrastructure?”
And what if those same people, tired of our politicians playing shell games with our tax dollars to get reelected, pressured our elected leaders to do something about it since it affects each one of us every day?
And what if people were put to work, not some hypothetical time in the future, but this year, fixing and designing and engineering and rebuilding the pipes and system that brings water to our taps every day?
And what if people were inspired by SOTSK to build on PUR’s innovations and come up with even more ways to purify drinking water?
And what if our main stream media decided to quit broadcasting nonsense and started reporting on the positive things in the world?
And what if one day we could celebrate that we had collectively come together, as Lupe had invited us—danced together?
And what if all of that happened just because one guy named KENNA DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING and his friends joined him and then strangers became friends and then it became so much bigger than a group of people climbing a mountain because there were so many people who cared as much as Kenna that the collective positivity became an unstoppable force determined to help our fellow men, women, children?
And what if in doing that, we changed the world for the better and turned the global water crisis into the global water nuisance?
And what if one day you could smile to yourself as you were drifting off to sleep, knowing that YOU PLAYED YOUR PART to help turn these what ifs into reality?
- Jay Lavender, 3:45am, Jan 11, in a tent on the side of Kili