Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Basics

A water main broke last night due to the cold weather and we had no water for several hours. When the water came on, the hunk ran around filling pitchers and jugs, but it stayed on all night. Then another water main broke this morning so we were without water most of the day.

No showers, no scrubbing the potatoes so we can bake them, no dishes, no laundry, no flushing toilets...you know, just the basics. How we take the basics for granted. We don't even think about power or water or heat until they don't work for whatever reason.

But suppose...tomorrow nothing worked. What if when we woke up there were no utilities? So no electronics. No communications. No phones. How would we find out what was going on? And what would we do if none of it came back on?

All over the world, there are numberless people who do without. They drink contaminated water from rivers and lakes. The heat their homes with dung and toxic trash. They light them at night with a fire. And communications? They don't exist.

In my warm apartment with lights and power, I reflect on how inconvenient it is because I can't take a shower. We used to call this a first world problem. But that's not really the truth because in our country we have thousands of people who don't have access to the basics. So perhaps, it isn't a first world problem, but a problem of the privileged. And we're so removed from it, we feel free to moan and bellyache because we have to do without for a few hours.

What do you suppose that says about us?

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