There is nothing like world travel to radically change one’s perspective on life. Living in Asia and South America, poverty has been much more visible to me than it ever was in my middle-class western upbringing. For many people in the world, life is still very much at the survival level, worrying about how to attain just the basics: Food, shelter, clothing. And one of the biggest essentials of life is clean drinking water.
For the past year or so, our household has had intermittent 12-hour water stoppages to service in our home, due to work being done to upgrade the system in our barrio (Spanish for neighborhood). Being the admittedly spoiled westerner that I am, I find it highly inconvenient and frustrating to not take my shower right when I want to, or, not to be able to just quickly turn on the tap to do dishes. But, I have easy access to bottled water and the money to purchase it. I do not go thirsty.
It has given me great cause to think about the value of water, my owned spoiled wants (as opposed to needs), and further about the shifting yard stick in our richer world societies for what is important and essential. When you lose even temporary access to a life essential such as water, it brings you head on with reality. You begin to value more that which about two billion people in the world do NOT take for granted.
Having this wider perspective leads to more gratitude for what one has, and a thought process about what is really important in life. Food for thought for the impending World Water Day this March 22nd.
For more about the value of water and bringing it to those who don’t have it, visit The Waterbearers website. Their estimate that approximately 2 billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water at or near home falls into line with my research on other websites. Women and children in poorer nations walk miles daily for that liquid gold, water.
Photo courtesy of Artsy Solomon, Pexels
Water | Essential to Life © Susan L Hart 2020