For as long as I can remember I have been water conscious.
And it was not because I was born an amazing, big hearted, consumption worried humanitarian.
No it was for purely selfish reasons.
You see, I was born with a genetic condition that has made not a singe day go by in my 30 + years where I haven’t been constantly thirsty.
I’m talking drink-your-weight-in-water-daily kind of thirsty.
I’m talking the kind where one sees imaginary glasses of water appearing out of thin air if you have to go a few hours without a drink of water. I’m talking about the kind of thirst where you would decide to trade in a day of eating for a glass of water. I’m talking about actually fretting over those worst case scenario situations just in case they actually happened. I’m talking the kind of thirst that has you up three times in the night to stick your head under the tap until your stomach mimics the movements of the ocean. I’m literally talking about doctors recording the ability to drink 80 (8 ounce) glasses of water daily.
I am talking about having the rare form of diabetes caused by a deficiency of the pituitary hormone vasopressin, which regulates kidney function.
The Mayo Clinic describes Diapetes insipidus like this “Diabetes insipidus (die-uh-BEE-teze in-SIP-uh-dus) is an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of water in the body. This imbalance leads to intense thirst even after drinking fluids (polydipsia), and excretion of large amounts of urine (polyuria).
While the names diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus sound similar, they’re not related. Diabetes mellitus — which can occur as type 1 or type 2 — is the more common form of diabetes.There’s no cure for diabetes insipidus, but treatments are available to relieve your thirst and normalize your urine output.”
So although my thirst can be quenched via medication and is eased by my proximity to an environment that is water accessible, I am often reminded of how fatal this condition would be for me if medication and water sources were withheld from me.
Yes, I have always been water conscious for selfish reasons but as I’ve grown from that little girl with the water bottle always in her grasp and into a health conscious woman and mother, my motives for being water conscious have changed.
I am often reminded that if I was one of the 663 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water that I would most likely not have survived infancy. In fact I probably wouldn’t have even been born since my Mother and Grandmother also have this hereditary condition. If I’m honest with how blessed I am to be born in a country where clean water runs freely from taps everywhere, I would admit that my entire extended family would not have most likely existed. That would include my Grandmother’s 4 children and subsequent 13 grandchildren, my mothers six children and 13 grandchildren and my three children and the generations I am hopeful that will follow. If I am truly honest with how blessed we are here, I would admit that perhaps my Grandmother’s relatives and people before them would not have existed either. Because water for us is integral for survival.
What I would like to point out today though is that water for everyone EVERYWHERE is integral for survival.
And not just to quench thirst.
Did you know that by helping provide clean water to those around the world who presently do not have access to clean water you don’t just quench their thirst but you give them the gift of health, longevity and education. Did you know that some children as young as five years old have to forgo education because their days are consumed with walking 4 hours to the closest water source to them — which isn’t even guaranteed to be clean. They spend a large majority of their day traveling to and from an unclean water source that is ridden with bacteria and diseases and then consuming it. As someone who has felt the unquenchable feeling of being without water these truths are unimaginable. As someone who is now a Mother who would give anything to ensure my children dont just have necessities for life but that they flourish these truths are overwhelming and devastating.
Personal posts are few and far between around here, but because the travesty of a world without clean water has always weighed heavily on my heart, I couldn’t go without sharing today.
March 22nd, 2016 is International World Water Day.
Although there are staggering statistics out there that outline the undue suffering of others, there is also a lot of hope and exciting initiatives out there too.
There is hope that the smallest change can make the biggest difference.
Robbert F Kennedy said it well when he shared, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
If don’t know about you but I believe in the power of people. I believe that it only takes one person to make a difference in the life of another. I believe that it takes one simple act of compassion to plant a seed of hope in someone else. I believe that we DO have the power to bend history. I believe it starts with us. I believe it begins by you and I once we have gratefully acknowledged the blessing it is to happen to be born on this side of the planet. I believe it starts with us because although this world is a big place, we are in this together.
I know many of you are like me and you can easily relate to these beliefs.
Alone, I may not be a world changer, but together we CAN bend history.
We can say we lived well because we loved well.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
If you believe in the power of one but the world changing power of togetherness then please visit World Vision Canada to learn how easy it is to love well.
In fact, love IS a well.
International World Water Day is March 22nd, 2016. Please share with your friends so they can be involved in the life changing power of togetherness.
Also, for more inspiration follow the beautiful and lovely Meghann Markel who was announced recently as the Glodal Ambassador for World Vision. You’ll love to see firsthand her shared pictures from her life giving trip to Rwanda.