Since this week is clean water week, I wanted to take some time out to talk about this critical resource. While creating an event is important, I hope that we keep this in the back of our minds the next time we use water everyday. Remember that every time you drink water from the tap, every time you have hot showers and have plenty of resources for water millions of people do not have this luxury.
It’s an uncomfortable thought. It’s not pretty. It’s also a fragmented rhetoric. The issue of water distribution is part of a greater problems in our world : We are not individual islands but all our actions are intricately connected to each other. This issue stems from the extremes of wealth and poverty, lack of education, environmental abuse and numerous other factors which contribute to the dire fact that we are slowly killing clean water, causing severe climate change and irrevocably changing the environment.
We live in a world where we can blind ourselves to this reality. In some ways this is due to the fact that we have grown passive towards other’s suffering. It is a mere dot in our radar, something we tune in to the news to see but it is not our reality. Professor Micheal Karlberg in his blog agency and change states :
the mounting body of empirical evidence that points to the social, psychological, and ecological harm caused by massive exposure to a steady stream of expertly-crafted messages designed to influence behavior by manipulating emotions. Consider, for example, the American Psychological Association’s report on the sexualization of girls, or the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on media impacts and the need for media literacy education.
. At the dawn of the twentieth century we are facing complex social and ecological problems that can be solved only by a culture that fosters a sense of agency and a commitment to social change in increasing numbers of people. Yet the media consumption discussed above tends to breed cynicism and lethargy.
Increasingly, this reality is not something that we ourselves experience. It is not our problem and we go on with our lives. But how we consume is what is causing these problems in the first place.
When I first lived in England and Spain, it felt weird to drink tap water and not water from bottled water. It is also a luxury to have a cistern so that the water does not go off for days. I have had that happen, and it’s not pretty. You become resourceful with what little water you have until the water comes back again.
But I am one of the lucky ones. I have a cistern, and bottled water and money to do this. People around the world are cleaning their clothes in dengue infested polluted waters, they are drinking water that is making them sick and have to walk for miles to find any sort of water source. All this that is something that essentially in certain countries they get free.
I am thinking on this because if I hadn’t been exposed to a small window of what a luxury water is, yet others did not have this opportunity. So I cannot judge or blame anyone else for not taking action.
What is taking action? Just like being on a diet, it means being aware of the amount of water and electricity you consume. That’s a small step
But if we truly want to help : Go to those places where they have a lack of water and help out in some way through education or donating towards fresh water. They might be much closer than you think and you could realize what a luxury clean water is.