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5.02.2010

5/2/10 Compassion-Building Exercise

News reports indicate that there's a boil-water order in effect for the Boston area.

Many of my friends find this an aggravating, frustrating, annoying turn of events.

I urge you to see it as a "compassion-building exercise".

This is your chance to experience, for a day or two, what it's like to live in an area with undrinkable water. Consider it a two-day Peace Corps experience.

Alhumdulillah, Berberville treats its water, so I haven't had to spend the past two years boiling every drop before I can drink it, brush my teeth with it, do dishes with it, etc. On the other hand, I haven't had hot tap water for two years, and my taps only run for 3 hours a day. The rest of the time, I use water from the bottles I refill each morning.

But while Morocco has made tremendous strides with potable water, many of our southern neighbors are still struggling with that.

So here's your chance to take a moment to empathize with the difficulties of their lives. You still have central heat/AC, cars, and thousands of other amenities they could never dream of. But you'll get a taste (no pun intended) of the challenges that billions of people face every day.

When my family came to visit me in Morocco, we did a few of these "compassion-building exercises". They rode a transit with me. They used squat toilets. They sweltered in unairconditioned hotels. And they were champs about it. I was proud. :)

So here's your chance, Bostonians. Are you going to take this opportunity to widen your sphere of experience, to gain some perspective into the lives of those less fortunate? Or will you just whine about it?

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