The other day, like many other Furman students, I decided to take advantage of the amazing weather and grabbed my backpack so I could study outdoors. It didn’t take me long to find a perfect spot that met my requirements of green grass and sunshine and as a bonus, right next to one of Furman’s sparkling fountains. I plopped down on a blanket and began my homework. While I was sitting there, it struck me how great it is to be able to do something like that, to just sit outside and enjoy the view while I soak up some sunshine. The entire student body knows that the Furman fountains are strictly for admiration, no swimming allowed. To do so would have you hightailing it away from FUPO as fast as possible. Do you think that water is used purely for it’s aesthetic value in developing countries? I don’t. Water is a resource used with thoughtfulness and out of necessity in many places. Take these two pictures for example:
This one, however, was taken in a remote village while I was on a mission trip in Nicaragua. The black plastic hose came from a stream that trickled down the side of the mountain and the hose carried the water to an open, rock cistern that was used for bathing, dishes, drinking, laundry, and other needs.
To me the difference in usage is striking.
Here in the United States we have the luxury of having as much water as we like. About 3.9 trillion gallons of water are consumed in the United States every month (AWWA Journal, June 2006) and the average American uses 176 gallons of water per day. This number is staggering compared to the 5 gallons of water that are used by an average family in Africa each day. I’m not using these statistics to make you feel guilty, or cause you to take less showers or anything like that. I simply hope that it will make its way into your mind and prompt you to help out in whatever way you can. Whether this is through the events sponsored by Furman and the Global Issues, finding an organization that you trust to donate a few dollars to, or simply spreading the word and informing others.
To put it simply (yes, some pun intended):
Live simply that others might simply live. – Elizabeth Seaton