At work, we have machines placed sporadically around the Hallmark complex that dispense ice and water. They're like the ones most of us have in our refrigerator doors at home, only much larger. There's one exactly 40 steps from my desk (I counted) that was under repair until just recently.
I think my particular machine was probably only out of service a month or so, but it felt like an eternity that I had to walk to a whole other floor just to fill up my water cup. I hope you can hear the ridiculousness in those words, because at the time, I sure could not.
I bitched, I moaned, complained about how faaarrr I had to waaalllkkk to go get water. There were even days I got a little dehydrated because my woe-is-me attitude prevented me from walking aaalll the waaayyy down a flight of stairs and back. To sum it up, I was being an asshole, but didn't realize it until I started typing a tweet to complain. A tweet that would have carried the hashtag #FirstWorldProbz. A tweet that I am so very glad I never sent out.
I needed a little perspective, and that hashtag suddenly snapped me out of whatever ridiculous complaints my brain had been swimming in, and plopped me directly into the reality of the situation. The reality is that there are women all over the world who walk miles to collect water for their entire families. And a lot of the time, that water isn't completely safe to drink.
So now every time I fill up my pretty pink water cup, I'm reminded just how blessed I am to walk only 40 steps for water. Water that's clean, and safe, and free.
in another post last week, but I think the organization Water.org is worth mentioning again. They're based in Kansas City, and the work they do provides clean water and sanitation for the millions of people without access to it. Check them out to see how you can get involved.