On Saturday night, I was killing time and decided to buy a soda at Hannaford’s. While I was waiting in line, I took notice of the crowds which were mobbing the various check-out aisles. What every single person had in common was a harried look in their eyes, and what separated the crowd into two chunks was water; there were those who had amassed a shopping-cart’s worth of bottles and crates of water, and those who hadn’t arrived in time. In the twenty minutes which it took me to get to the front of the line, a time which was frequently punctuated by the shouts for the manager demanding more water, I began to realize that were I not on campus, I would be in the same position, unsure whether or not I would have any access to clean water for an indeterminate amount of time.
As the weekend wore on, I started feeling thirsty at all hours of the day. This may have been due in part to the heat, as well as the amount of time I spent at Springfest, but I began to wonder if other people felt the same way. Was my desire for water influenced by my recognition that I could not have a constant flow in my water bottle at any time of the day? This is to say nothing of the fact that 1/8th of the world’s population has no access to clean drinking water, but this made me realize that as a student at Brandeis, I was given access to essential resources when they were sorely needed by the community.
Yesterday morning, the entire campus woke up to great news when we were told that the crisis was over. I admit that that this was a relief for me, but I considered some of the people who were “suffering” more than I was. For example, I don’t drink coffee, but I overheard a student at Einstein’s complaining about how they had to drive thirty minutes into Cambridge in order to find an open coffee shop. When I actually considered the troubles that plague people around the world, however, it made me realize how trivial this is.