“Water sustains all life. Her songs begin in the tiniest of raindrops, transform to flowing rivers, travel to majestic oceans and thundering clouds and back to earth again. When water is threatened, all living things are threatened.” Indigenous Declaration on Water 2001
All life is dependent on water, yet we, who, at the mere turn of a faucet have constant access to clean water, tend to take it for granted. The careless habits of big business and complacent individuals are creating worldwide consequences. United Nations statistics are daunting: “Some 663 million people are currently living without a safe supply of water close to their homes; … over 1.8 million people frequent a water source contaminated with human waste; … 80 percent of the Earth’s wastewater returns to the ecosystem without being treated or recycled.”
Week Three: Get into the shoes of a woman from a country where there is no easy access to water. Describe her day. How far does she walk to get water for the day’s needs? How long does it take her? What is the terrain like? The weather? How many children does she bring with her on this daily journey? How heavy are the jugs she carries after she fills them? What does her body feel like when she finally lies down to sleep for the night? If the water is putrid or polluted, what is it like for her to wash and feed her children with contaminated water?
Week Four. Greed: an intense, excessive, rapacious, insatiable desire to acquire more than one needs or deserves –[sourced from dictionary]
Biblical commentator John Ritenbaugh describes greed as a “ruthless self-seeking, and an arrogant assumption that others and things exist for one’s own benefit.” Psychologist Erich Fromm describes greed as “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street, proclaims, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies and cuts through to the essence of the evolutionary spirit”.
Reflect on the above statements. What is your definition of greed? Have you experienced moments when greed seemed to take over your life (and maybe your sanity)? Have you felt the sense of exhaustion without satisfaction that Erich Fromm describes? Describe a personal experience you had with greed. What did it feel like? Where did you feel it? What did it lead you to do? What were the results? Trace this experience from beginning to end.
For further reflection watch the following documentaries:
- The True Cost http://www.truecostmovie.com
- Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things http://www.theminimalists.com
- For “must see” documentaries on water check out: https://www.watercache.com/blog/2011/10/must-see-water-documentaries-provide-insight-into-future-water-crisis