“When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed to two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.”
- John F. Kennedy
When I was a child, we drew our drinking water at the edges of Padsan River in Laoag City.
Every sunrise or sunset, we dug holes two feet away from the river’s water line. The holes, which were at least six inches deep, consistently gave out cold and sparkling water which we carefully transferred into our malabi, an earthen jug.
Carrying our drinking water back home – either by holding the malabi in our arms or by balancing it on top of our heads – was always a treat because the companionship of my fellow water boys truly crowned my day’s start or end.
There were times when I had to fetch water at the river side alone. But such instances did not diminish the fun – they gave me time to wonder, to fantasize, to imagine and to resolve for the realization of my dreams.
Fetching drinking water in that fashion also had its unpleasant sides. Digging the grits with our bare hands, waiting for the particles to subside, climbing the dike with a malabi in our grasps and coming home with drenched clothes – they all made knots on our youthful foreheads. But then, they amounted to nothing compared to the camaraderie, good health and simple yet good life we had drawn from the experience.
But drawing drinking water at the edges of the Padsan River is now a history. Actually, the river itself is paining to sustain its flow.
At present – in spite of the advent of water refilling stations – we have water districts that deliver water straight to our homes. Evidently, enjoying water supply now is by far more convenient than during my water boy days.
Water boys are now called technicians, engineers, directors and general managers – all pouring their time and talent for their wet calling. Yet, ironically, the more effort they give for water service the more criticisms they receive from us.
From issues of water pressure to water turbidity, we spit condemnations faster than the burst of pumps. Our appetite for lodging complaints is too high that we become oblivious of the real causes of water supply maladies: the abuse and misuse of our natural resources which all of us have conveniently partaken.
Sometimes, convenience is a curse. When we are given a privilege to enjoy a bit of convenience, we become insatiable, irresponsible and oftentimes irrational.
Our excessive love for convenience hones our abilities to argue, demand and dictate, but at the same time weakens our drive to negotiate, understand and participate. The way we treat our present water boys is but one among the million examples of our degeneration due to our addiction to convenience.
Yes, our being is lessened by our human penchant for ease and handiness, sadly debatable but true.
Oh, how I long for the times when most men are ready to sink to the grits for the satisfaction of their needs and wants – like my long gone water boy days at the edges of Padsan River.
About Jorge Richard
Causes Jorge Richard Guerrero Supports
SUPPORT FOR THROAT CANCER PATIENTS