I felt physically ill and fought to keep my composure.
She went on and on not realizing that, in the torrent of words, she had lost me at, “My favorite is to just stand in the shower for like 30 minutes.” I felt dizzy.
That was A LOT of water.
Funny how that memory replayed in my mind as I stood in the shower today, ten years later. I grabbed my soap-loaded brush and scrubbed the wall and floor of the shower. I love the convenience of cleaning while I’m already in there and wet. Secretly, I also justify spending extra time after I’ve done what I went in there to do in the first place, which takes me all of 3 minutes at a languid pace.
As I rinsed the walls off, I thought to myself, “Bet you can’t get anyone that grew up in the third world to just stand in the shower for 30 minutes. At least not guilt-free.”
Interestingly, about 2 hours later I was visiting with my employee Jan and she said, “Did you have water shortages growing up?”
“I sure did. We had to be so mindful of every drop we had and used.” Later I asked her why she had asked me that.
“You are very conscious of water use.”
“The worst,” I quipped, “is when someone is doing a small stack of dishes, water on at full blast, loading the dishwasher one leisurely dish at a time, telling a story, pausing to make gestures, water gushing the whole time.” They think I’m listening but I’m watching clear liquid gold literally and figuratively go down the drain: my pulse is mounting, my heart is racing, my breath is waning, and I barely gasp, “turn… off… the… water!” before the life trickles out of me.
I understand that it’s hard to relate when you’ve never had just a gallon of water to use as bath water – I understand you can’t even call it a bath at that level! May I invite you to pause and cherish the very lavish convenience of your faucet. Treasure the thought that you have one in several rooms of your house. Gush at the fact that you have one for hot and another for cold water. Your ancestors would have marveled at that! Let out a stream of praise that you that you’ve probably never turned it on and had it sputter and cough and produce nothing.
At any point in time, billions of people are languishing, praying for rain. May gratitude flow from you, in place of complaint, that it rains so hard and so much where you live that you get sick of it!
People around the world walk miles to collect a small jug of putrid water to be used by a whole family for personal and household use. For that reason alone, some can’t go to school and get an education because it takes so much time to fetch water. Water-borne diseases from unsanitary water causes untold deaths and suffering. Would you consider sponsoring an organization or cause that supports clean water access?
Chug that with your food for thought…
Water/key image used from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-insecurity-global-economy.html