Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Friday, October 21, 2005

disasters, large and small

I turned on the faucet in the bathroom sink and there was no water. No water in the shower. No water in the kitchen. There was a water main break down the street. Nobody in our building had water. We couldn't brush our teeth, wash our hands, take a shower, flush the toilet. Yuk! I was VERY ANNOYED. I was ANGRY with the building management. I was MAD with the city water department. How could we live without water?

Then I recalled the yelling, angry people in New Orleans after Katrina who'd been cooped up in that sports arena without water...or food...in 98 degree heat for five days. And, those thousands whose homes had been totally destroyed by floods, and the parents who were separated from their children, and the old folks who were stranded in nursing homes. You bet they were ANNOYED and ANGRY and MAD!

When our building got water twenty-four hours later I was so glad to be able to flush the toilet and to take a shower. But I was also ANNOYED with myself for having complained about my little disaster when so many other people have suffered so much more.

It made me very aware of how important WATER is in our lives. We can't live without it, but we don't want it rampaging out of control either. My little disaster reminded me that WILPF's new program Campaign on SAVE THE WATER is right on target. We have so much to learn...and then so much to do! Just this week a whole community not far from Baltimore has been told they can't drink the water in their homes or even shower in it because of chemical contamination. Now, there's a place to begin.
Phyllis Yingling

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