Thursday, June 26, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink

Yep, this is a social justice post.

Wait! Come back! It's also a post of hope. Don't run away until you've read what I have to say...

So, unless you live under a rock, you've heard about the flooding in the Midwest.

The Mississippi is over its banks, worse than in 1993.

Did you know some parts of the country are also experiencing some significant drought?

There's a famine and drought in East Africa.

You heard about the cyclone and flooding in Myanmar.

You know there was an earthquake in China.

According to the statistics on A Child's Right, 3 million people die each year as a result of drinking unclean water.

There are places right now, in the Midwest, in my state, not 50 miles from my house, where flood waters have contaminated individual wells, where they have inundated city water systems. People are being advised to boil their water.

If you're like me, hearing this sort of stuff on the news sends my heart thumping in helpless panic. It's terrible. People are suffering. I already give money to worthy causes. There's nothing I can do and it makes me feel awful. Guilt.

Well, I've been thinking about ways I CAN make a difference.

It occurred to me the other day (duh) that just because I have access to abundant, clean, free drinking water at every moment of every day, I do not have license to waste it.

The fact that it could have easily been MY community whose well was contaminated, causing me all sorts of annoying hardships has made me think about how I take water for granted.

So, until I run out of good ideas, I'm going to look for one idea a day to improve my use of the water God has blessed me with. I'd like to become a bit of a water Scrooge.

It's not going to be life or death for me. It's not probably even going to make a huge impact. It doesn't change my status as a priveleged American, nor does it give me any real sense of what those who are truly suffering are going through.

But at least I can be part of the solution and stop being part of the problem.

How much of an impact will it make if my family of seven participates? What if we add your family?

Join me if you want, or just follow along and watch me flounder!

Today's water tip... Shut the water off during my shower. Water on, get wet, water off, lather, shave, water on, rinse. (Hey, I didn't promise you rocket science!)

No comments: