One of the quickest ways to understand how precious something is in your life is to try living without it. When it comes to clean, drinkable water for many “trying” isn’t an option; the water is just not there. No clean water to drink and no access to a toilet system means exposure and susceptibility to disease. Water is often taken for granted to those who can easily purchase a $2 bottle of water procured from some virgin spring in the Fuji mountains or whatever. Sure, we get irritated when the water in our homes have to be shut off for hours for pipe repair. I’ve been there; it sucks. I have a moment of panic trying to figure out how four people in the house are going to use the toilet while the water is shut down for a couple of hours. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to accept that there is no toilet to run to or convenience store selling bottled water, or that the place to obtain drinking water is the same place where bathing and toilet-type activities take place.
I have lived without, in what amounts to a brief moment in my life. What I’ve never mentioned here and what I rarely like to talk about with anyone is that I was once homeless. Living out of my car, no job, no money homeless. It’s easily the cause of my germaphobia and as well as some other choice fears (not all rational, I might add). How I got there isn’t relevant; let’s just say I made some dumb decisions in my life and that it was entirely unavoidable had I owned a spine back then. Oh, and to top it off, I was pregnant at the time. And it in the Southern US in the summer. Bah.
Water was all kinds of essential, obviously. I knew what gas stations, grocery stores and fast food joints had easily available restrooms. Those rinsing stations at the beach were more than useful. Food and water was whatever could be wrangled up. It took about a month before I could escape that situation and my first actual shower was positively amazing. (And yes, everyone was fine and I have since grown a spine!)
While what I’ve gone through can’t even compare to what people in places such as Ethiopia live through daily, it did help me in not taking things for granted.
The Water.org 10 Day Challenge is four days from completing and has just shy of $1000. A donation of $25 will provide someone with safe water for life. Join me and other members of The Mission List raising these funds and getting water to those who need it. Donate today at http://give.water.org/f/10daychallenge/.