In Celebration of World Toilet Day
As regular toilet visitors, many of us could be considered experts on the subject, ready to gush forth with fountains of voluminous knowledge and hard nuggets of wisdom at nary a moment’s notice. We perch upon the pot with aplomb, we besmirch the bowl with our bums and we linger long within the lavatory!
Butt just because it is so rare to find such a talented community of pioneers in such a cutting edge field, doesn’t mean that we too can’t have a plucky hero to gaze upon with admiring constipation and say, ‘now there is someone who knows his shit’.
Enter Mr. Jack Sim.
Formerly a successful businessman in the construction industry in south-east Asia, he has since devoted his life to the cause of toilets and sanitation. “I spend every moment thinking about toilets….a human life is 80 years, and I’m 52, if I’m going to spend 28 years consuming ostentatiously just to have a diamond watch that I can’t read the time because it’s too sparkly…it makes no sense. Doing some social work and creating some impact…it’s better to die like that.”
Since his creation of the World Toilet Organization in 2001, he has since set November 19 to be World Toilet Day (endorsed by UN in 2013), organized global charity fitness events with the cheeky title of Urgent Runs, an annual World Toilet Summit, World Toilet College and plans for toilet museum installation. He has received numerous good Samaritan awards since, including Hero of the Environment by Time Magazine (2008) and Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth Commonwealth Points of Light Award (2018), among many others.
But what’s all the fuss about? Surely toilets are a simple thing that we can all safely consume without a second thought, like the industrial food complex or those sweet irresistible NSBM riffs?
Unfortunately the numbers would seem to indicate otherwise, with 4.5 billion people living without safely managed sanitation worldwide, and about 892 million of those having to resort to open defecation in order to relieve themselves, the majority of which are within just seven countries. India has the highest concentration of people in these conditions, which not only cause a significant number of health issues ranging from diarrhea to schistomiasis, but also increase the risks to personal safety of already at-risk populations who often resort to only defecating under cover of darkness. Since 2010, United Nations General Assembly has recognized the right to water and sanitation to be a fundamental human right, and other innovative individuals have taken up the cause as well, with Bill Gates taking more technology-based initiatives around the same problem since about 2005.
Mr. Toilet continues, “Shit is like fire…if managed properly, it can cook your food, if not managed properly, it will burn down your house.”
So just how do we manage it more properly?
The options are many, but when you boil it all down it’s like any charity or cause; you can either get involved directly or simply grab ahold of your financial glutes and pinch out some pennies. I was unfortunately unable to find any cool t-shirts or swag to purchase (previous Urgent Run shirts said ‘I Give a Crap’ on the back!), but whether you decide to go with option number one or number two, we urge you on this holiest of days to open your third eye and honor the throne that so lovingly cradles your behind, don your Toilet ov Hell garment of choice and remember that, “We want to make it so people are proud to own a toilet.”