Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hot Water on Demand

There are a lot of things I can live without. I hardly miss paper towels, I barely think twice about shampoo and conditioner, and never having to buy deodorant again is quite a pleasure. I have great substitutes for all these things. One thing I prefer to keep in my life, however, is hot showers. It's my downfall. I love me some nice hot steamy shower time. Recently, we had our old terrible dripping water heater replaced in our complex, and... let's just say the hot water wasn't greatly forthcoming after that. Turns out the whole works needed a new pump as well, and now everything is fine and dandy. Burn-worthy, actually.

This small experience gave me lots to think about, though. For a few days in there, I contemplated life under a lukewarm shower. I realized how much I took for granted the pure simple joy of hot water, and how grateful I would be when it came back. I thought how the new heater was probably so much more efficient than the last, and would save energy, but if we did not get it working right, then the gross waste of water would more than overshadow that benefit. I was so annoyed by something that people around the world don't even have.

Mostly, I thought that we really could apply this to things in everyday life everywhere. "You don't know what you got til it's gone" is more than just an AWESOME '80's song. It's true, I live in probably the most selfish and self-centered cities there is, but is it like this everywhere? Are we so used to having whatever we want that we don't really care about or respect anything? I watch people go through phones and iPods and all that stuff like it's nothing. It IS something. We really need to go back and realize what it is to live without something so we can appreciate those things again. We've really lost that somewhere along the way. Is it entitlement? I was reading some comments online after a question was posed,"Do you shower in the morning or before you go to bed?" Simple question, many answers, but I was stunned by the number of people who said, "Both!" ??! OK, if your two showers of 5 minutes or less rival my one of... well, slightly longer, but are we talking 2 full showers a day? I digress a bit, but it all falls under the same general area of not being aware of the world around us. Do we know how fortunate we are to HAVE water available to us at any time? Do we realize it might not always be that way if we aren't more careful? Do we know what a waste it is to flush clean water down the toilet, and how stupid it is? Are my future showers in jeopardy because some ass-clowns out there think they NEED and are entitled to 2 showers a day? Do these same people wash their towels and jeans after only one wearing, and do they use hot water to launder things?? So many questions. No answers.

My hot water is back. My showers were probably a touch shorter in the lukewarm days, but I try. I don't linger. I save water in other areas very well. But what's the point if not everybody is doing the same? We're in dangerous times, here. And I don't think enough people are aware of that. Sadly, they will not suffer alone or bring the crap down only on themselves; the rest of us will get pulled in too. We HAVE to get everyone's attention, and we have to do it soon.

Right vs. privilege. Time to re-learn what it is to do without sometimes.... suggestions?