Water Day

Today I’m celebrating World Water Day. I’m taking a moment to be grateful for all the good things water gives us.

I wrote about the water crisis last week, so I won’t start spewing facts and statistics at you again. They’re available on water.org if you’re interested. I recommend taking a look as soon as you can. Check out the introduction video on the site. I hope it’ll open your eyes like it did mine.

I’ve been aware of water.org for a few years now but only recently after doing some research for a couple of novel ideas that I have, did I come to fully understand what the organization does and how it impacts communities across the globe. They’re doing good work to provide lasting solutions to the water crisis.

Personally, I’ve found myself very grateful for my toilet. Seriously. It’s not something we talk about in civilized conversations, but maybe it should be. Because I have a clean toilet I can use any time I want. (And I use it a lot because I pretty much mainline Diet Coke.) But what if I didn’t have a white porcelain throne and instead had to squat in the mud where seventeen other people have squatted today? Suddenly a new role of Charmin seems more precious than gold.

Millions of people are dealing with this every single day. And it breaks my heart. And that’s why I support water.org and celebrate World Water Day. Because how can I turn a blind eye to something so fundamentally important to every living soul on the planet?

Visit WaterDay.org to celebrate Water Day with me. You can create your own photo to share what water gives you. I’d like to share a couple with you- mine and Matt Damon’s.

 

And because I like to put feet to my words, I’ll share something I was inspired to write after seeing a water.org photo on Instagram. It’s not easy for me to share this because it’s not a complete scene or story, or even fully edited, but it’s what came to me.  I hope it inspires you to do something. Share. Donate. Celebrate. Think. Give thanks. Act.

 

Six hours. Six hours isn’t bad as long as she begins in the morning just as the dew is starting to form in the fields. Six hours over dusty, rock-laden paths beat down by the footfalls of a thousand other women who came before her.

Six hours. Three each way.

Every day.

Without ceasing.

A yellow plastic jug trails behind Darsha, leaving a chalky mist in its wake as she trudged from the outskirts of the slum she calls home toward the place where she will gather today’s water.

As the sun peeks over the horizon creating a hazy golden glow on the fields, Darsha temporarily forgets where she is and what she’s doing. For a brief moment, she rests on the shore of some nameless crystal lake with her toes dug into the mud and the cool water trickling over her shins. But as the odor of the men squatting in the field beyond her assault her nose, she remembers and picks up her feet.

Six hours for her family.

Six hours for life.

Only six hours.

The day has twenty-four. 

 

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The Tides of March

When I first hopped onto the internet today, I was met with several “Beware the Ides of March” posts and references. And that was great because it’s absolutely the first thing I thought this morning when I saw the date. Who doesn’t love a good Shakespeare reference? In fact, I was going to blog something about the Ides of March today, but I changed my mind after I saw this video.

Hey there, Matt Damon, most talented and brilliant actor in the world, whatcha talking about?

Please allow me to explain.

In September 2015 the UN General Assembly set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) meant to further the gains made worldwide in stamping out poverty and injustice. You can see the complete list HERE.

It includes things like eliminating poverty, ending hunger, quality education for all, renewable energy, sustainable cities and communities, good health, and economic growth. All lofty and worthy goals that we NEED to support.

As I was looking over the list of SDGs something struck me. Most of the goals on the list are not really obtainable without first conquering SDG #6 – Clean water and sanitation.

With a background in education, I’m invested in seeing quality education for all. But how can we teach children if they aren’t in school because they have to travel miles every day just to reach a clean source of water? Moreover, how can we end hunger when there’s no water to grow sustainable crops? Or how can we keep everyone healthy when entire communities live in fear of the bacteria invading their water supply?

We can’t.

If you’ve ever taken a Gen Psych or Sociology course, you’ll remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. (Are you picturing a triangle? You should be picturing a triangle right now.) Maslow stated that people are inherently motivated to achieve certain needs. At the very base of the triangle lies BIOLOGICAL and PHYSIOLOGICAL need. It includes air, food, water, shelter, warmth, sleep. If those needs are not being met, there’s no way anyone is moving up the triangle where you find safety, love, esteem and self-actualization.

Did you catch it? Access to clean water and proper sanitation is a basic human need. According to water.org 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. And 1 in 3 lack access to sanitary toilets.

I’m not okay with those numbers.

I know I’m starting to sound “crusadey” with this. (And I’m okay with that, by the way. I will never apologize for who I am and what I think.) But I’ve been researching the water crisis and specifically water.org for months now and it’s given me a new perspective that I want to share with as many people as I can. While I don’t have the fans that Matt Damon has to bring awareness to this cause, I do have voice. And I’m using it.

Think of it as trying to change the tide on the water crisis. (See what I did there? Tides of March. *nods*)

If you’re interested in more info, check out water.org

And join me in celebrating Water Day next Tuesday. Water Day

And you can help for FREE by donating a photo here. Johnson&Johnson DonateAPhoto