I've jumped on this soap box before. I know. The thing is that we have clear, cold, clean water DELIVERED INTO MULTIPLE ROOMS IN OUR *HOUSES* via these cool little gadgets called TAPS, at a moment's notice. It's incredible, really. I can walk into my bathroom right now, take my little spindly pinky finger, flick a silver handle, and 100% drinkable water will flow from that spout all the livelong day. Stop and think about that for a moment.
Once upon a time, some brilliant people had this idea to take that water out of your bathroom sink and put it into plastic bottles and SELL IT TO YOU. They basically got around a table and someone said, "Fellas. I think I've struck up an idea that will make us billions. Americans are lazy, and if we bottle their water FOR them, they'll buy it." There was a day (really, I promise) when all of America would have thrown their heads back and laughed at those men--because there was a day when we literally couldn't *afford* to be lazy...a day when the clear, cold, drinkable water that comes from our freaking garden hoses was actually sometimes used to nourish our bodies. That day has long since passed, for many people.
Thing is: there are places in the world (and I've been to many) where the "tap" water WOULD KILL US. In those places, I thank God for the geniuses who sat around that office table and decided to bottle our tap water and sell it back to us. But if you live in America, the water won't kill you.
Anyway, instead of re-writing a post I've already published, I'll let you read it for yourself, here. :) It's a good post. I'll hug you if you read it.
What I really came here to do today is tell you a little story:
I sat through a four hour lecture yesterday (someone come pat me on the back, please), and during that time the (very intelligent and very kind) woman speaking went through three bottles of bottled water. Three. In four hours. It was a lecture I actually really liked (OB/babies), but I couldn't help but feel the frustration rising in my chest with each passing hour.
"Does she not KNOW the mess she's contributing to? If she drinks 3 in 4 hours, that means she might be drinking NINE PER DAY. That's FIFTY-SIX bottles a week. I bet she could fill an entire landfill all on her own! Has she not read the statistics? Does she not CARE about the world? Is she just extraordinarily LAZY?!?"
My *silent seethe* of Mean Words was getting louder and louder and louder in my head until I had decided that she was most definitely one of the worst women on the planet and also one of the laziest. I spewed off a text to friends sitting behind me: "Guys. Did anyone else notice that she's gone through three disposable bottles in the past 4 hours? I can't even handle it."
And then I got a hold of myself.
Could it be that *maybe* she doesn't know the impact disposable bottles have on our planet?
Could it be that she's just thirsty and that she's always used them and that she is sacrificing four hours of her time to impart Very Important wisdom to us and has better things to do than worry about what she throws away?
Could it be that she's STILL the incredible person I know her to be, regardless of how she feels about an issue that I just happen to feel very strongly about?
If not using disposable bottles is as important to me as I say/write it is, maybe it's incumbent upon me to actually DO SOMETHING TANGIBLE about the problem.
I had just seen this line on Facebook:
More and more, I simply live to be the antidote to the things I find hurtful or damaging in the world, rather than arguing with those I believe are being hurtful or damaging.
So I headed over to Hydroflask. And placed an order. Maybe she'd like a blue one, I decided.
Do I *want* to spend $27 on a stranger I've never even met? Do I even have that kind of money? Truthfully, not really. But is being the Antidote a better decision than being Angry? You betcha. So I'll have to save my tips for a couple weeks. So what. In the name of giving a Gift that will keep on giving--a lasting gift that won't wear out, that will save a few birds and a lot of plastic--heck YES I'll save my tips. I'll write a Kind Note and leave it in her mailbox at school. How much better is a Gift than a Lecture to Correct?
I think we're presented with this decision much more often than we realize. We can jump on our soapboxes and Lecture to Correct all we want--run our throats dry arguing with those we believe are being hurtful or damaging.
Or we can turn our Anger into Antidote; our Frustration into Friendship; our Hatefulness into Hope; our Grudges into Gifts.
Being the change we wish to see in the world looks a lot less like talking and a lot more like BEING. DOING. ACTING. Climbing down off our soapboxes and getting our boots a little muddy and our pocketbooks a little empty. Because the only way we're ever really going to effect change is if we actually effect it.
effect (v): cause (something) to happen; bring about
Arguments are usually like poison--they slowly, ever so slowly, turn us against each other and into enemies. Into Others. And when someone is suddenly an Other, we have a much easier time Ostracizing and Obliterating them. Antidotes--actions--are what save lives, save the planet, save animals, save our souls.
There's enough poison in the world to kill us all. What would it look like if we each made a quiet resolution to Be an Antidote?
To Whatever It Is That Bugs You, be the Antidote. This world needs a lot more healers, and healing can look a lot of different ways, you know. Today, Healing = Hydroflask.
Let's run our mouths and our money at the same time. I bet we'll start to see a lot more Good Change take effect if we choose to spend our moments that way.