The Key to Life

By: Anonymous

In 9th grade, my English teacher, Mr. Jones, spent a fair bit of time guiding us through the study of the poem: Rime of the Ancient Mariner.   The poem was written in 1834 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and has a key phrase that you may have heard or read:

Water, water every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water every where,

Nor any drop to drink.

Now the story of the poem is about a Mariner who condemns his crew by killing an albatross…. However, that’s not really why I remember or thought of the poem (thank you Mr. Jones).

I’ve been thinking much more about water, and its impact on communities… particularly those that do not have safe, clean water.

My recent trip to India, my personal ties and experience with Ethiopia (my father is Ethiopian), and the research I’ve been doing on impoverished communities has been eye opening in recognizing and understanding the huge difference in wealth that exists in the world, and many of the basic things we take completely for granted.

Try and imagine what your life would look like without readily available clean water.

Did you know:

  • Every year more than 3.4M people die as a result of water-related disease.  Contaminated water is the leading cause of disease and death around the world.  Women and children suffer the most.
  • In poor communities, most healthcare facilities lack access to safe, clean water.  The impact on the spread of infection and overall health can be devastating.
  • Children often bear the responsibility for collecting drinkable water, who often will spend as many as 6 hours traveling and waiting in line for water.  This is before the school day begins.
  • $1 invested in water and sanitation provides an economic return of $8

Which then got me thinking, what can I do to help?

I have been investigating and interacting with various philanthropic organizations, but I welcome any ideas or connections that my community may have around thinking about how to have an impact on this issue.

So, here’s to clean water, and to making an impact on the world in the small ways that we can.

2 thoughts on “The Key to Life

  1. I just visited Florida and it reminded me of childhood family trips during the 1970s. That was the time of gasoline rationing and the relatively new realization that fresh water was a limited commodity. I had panic attacks about wasting water, dripping faucets, cousins who let the sink water splash down the drain as they brushed their teeth . . . I became terrified that the world was going to run out of all things necessary to sustain life. Fast forward to 2018 and I’m traveling in Florida and on most residential streets I see water sprinklers maintaining the green grass. In my head I decide everyone should have gravel yards. But, I also see signs that declare that the watering is done with reclaimed water. I breath a sigh of relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I vacationed in the Caribbean several years ago, and they were much more conscious of their water usage. When you just turn the faucet your whole life, it’s hard not to be complacent!


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