Earlier today I was feeling sorry for myself as I did not have one of those, a shot at that and lots f those over there that they have, when I came to myself and considered those who have less than I and are often happier than me. Folks in some African townships live in mud huts or tin shacks that I would consider somewhat less reliable at keeping out the rain than my landlord's roof. Others have to work 16 hours a day for little to make the constantly shrinking T-shirts that I buy, others toil in fields for the veg that I allow to rot because it is too much like work to cut it and use it.
One blatant suffering is that of water!
Some years ago a programme on TV gave the impression the next war would be caused by water, or the difficulty in sharing it. The vast amount of water that covers the earth is undrinkable and our limted technology will not allow us to make it drinkable, or at least will not pay to do so! Surely it must be possible to ensure each one of us can access clean drinking water wherever we are? It surely is but money, politics, selfishness and greed are probably the most likely causes in hindering delivery of clean water.
Of course some people try to supply the need. All across the globe governments can be found making decent attempts to supply such although too many do not and charities work tirelessly to provide in many places. This does not always work successfully however. Some years ago Oxfam, I think it was, spent vast sums drilling wells in Bangladesh and provided clean, safe water for the peoples. Soon afterwards it was discovered that ALL the water was contaminated with arsenic! This was because of a natural fault in the area and now those using the water have to add tablets of some unknown to me substance to counter the effects. Good try though.
Considering this I remembered a picture I took of a village pump some time back. This stands in Little Dunmow a few miles from here, a small probably expensive hamlet that once housed a huge church building, now considerably reduced. This Victorian looking pump was probably the main source of water for all the village for many centuries. It is possible farmers had their own well, for themselves and their animals, and maybe the pub brewed it's own beer from water found in a well, that seems likely to me. But I have not bothered to research as I was too busy contemplating my navel.
If I remember right the pump has since been done up and now is a different colour, it is some years since I took this picture, and it is clear the village has made it a centre piece and rightly so! The town had a pump well into the 19th century and a friend buying an old house noticed on original deeds from when the house was built that the owner had the right to use the pump two doors down! Sadly this has now gone.
As I sit in the bath - well on Sundays anyway - I contemplate the cost of every inch of water draining away (the draining water is charged at about 90% of the water costs, the crooks!) and consider myself lucky to have a bath, lucky to have water on tap and the money to pay for this instead of lugging bucketfulls (a woman's job) back to the house. Somewhere in Africa a woman is walking several miles to collect water each day, there is no guarantee it is clean either. How privileged we are to have so much.