It starts with one drop
Treat the earth well
It was not given to you by your parents
It was loaned to you by your children.
(Native American Proverb)
This was the message of “One Night for One Drop”, a benefit by given by Cirque du Soleil performers. It was presented as an original show for online viewing during the week following World Water Day (April 22). After a mere five dollar donation, I was glued to my computer monitor to watch a full-length performance benefiting One Drop, a NPO established in 2007 by Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soliel. The mandate of One Drop is to ensure that water is available to all, today and forever.
Water featured in each scene performed by acrobats, synchronized swimmers, or African women walking in parched plains searching for water and dancing with joy when they found it. There were icebergs and penguins and Simon and Garfunkle’s haunting song A Bridge over Troubled Water delivered beautifully by a young singer. A spoken word artist summarized our planet’s situation:
“Water started life. Little beads of condensation made our civilization. Yet it’s common for communities to lack the aqueducts for irrigation. Stuck in devastation. When all it would take to make a change is our cooperation”.
Las Vegas performers volunteered their time – thousands of hours we were told. Las Vegas knows all too well the importance of fresh water, but world-wide, a billion people lack easy access to drinking water and a billion more lack proper sanitation. This situation will worsen in coming decades as our planet warms.
One Drop benefit events have generated seven million dollars since 2009, but this online performance could change the way funds are raised and ideas are planted and nourished – not just in one theatre at a time, but around the globe in an evening. At the end, Lilaberté offered his outlook that could help us in moving forward. “It is our responsibility, but we can do it with pleasure and passion.” Cirque is skilled at creating a beautiful package, and this time it delivers an inconvenient truth in a manner that is much more effective than listing the dry facts.