For two islands in the Pacific, the freshwater supply is measured in days. For at least one, there is less than a week’s supply. There are limited options and no quick solutions. Il Nino’s touch creates a feast or famine for the inhabitant’s water and right now it is an extreme famine.
It is easy to imagine the conversations. At least one or two will include comments about bathing. If it is a matter between living and dying, I am sure bathing can wait! At the very least, sharing and recycling bath water is a must.
As I read and worry for people I do not know, I find myself thinking about the proverb of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It is an old proverb, first found in the writings of Thomas Murner in the mid 1400’s. At the time he was writing a treatise on how “fools who by trying to rid themselves of a bad thing succeed in destroying whatever good there was as well”. There are lessons in these stories that Life invites us to pick up and use in our lives.
The water in our lives is always crucial. Without it, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, we will certainly die. Care should be taken before the shortage becomes death’s invitation to a crisis.
When we slow down enough to recognize truth, we should not let the fact that we may not be the person it was directed towards initially. An old example is Paul’s comments to a community; “Wives must not disrupt worship, talking when they should be listening, asking questions that could more appropriately be asked of their husbands at home.” (1 Corinthians 14.34) I do not believe, then or now, that the comment was only directed towards women. They may have, in this case, been the lead offenders, however the principle applies to young, old, rich, poor, female and male.
Life asks us to prioritize. In my life, bathing is a mandatory part of the day’s start. If I was on Tuvalu, I do not think it would matter.