Shower Time

Shower time for me is a very emotional time.
Yes you read that right! Every morning, when I get in the shower, I feel angry and sad and happy and helpless and a host of other emotions.

I’m happy that I am past the time in my life when I had to wake up at 4 or 5 am to go draw water from a well and take a quick shower outside before it gets too bright and people can see! I am just simply joyous (even after all the years I’ve now lived with a constant supply of water) at the feeling of walking into a bathroom and doing nothing more than turning a knob to get water.

I feel sad for the little girl I used to be who had to spend Christmas day fetching water with bowls and buckets almost bigger than herself! Sad for the millions of little boys and girls out there who still have to bathe and brush their teeth with little more than a glass of water! I lost count of how many times I had to do that with just a sachet of pure water (go ahead and Google ‘Naija pure water’ if you don’t know what it is ).
Kids who have to walk tens of kilometers just to get water and don’t even get to complain about aching necks or backs because well that’s normal! A good nights rest will make it all ‘feel better’ just in time for the next days water fetching trip.

I feel angry that so many people still take so many little things for granted while so many people (children especially) suffer so terribly from lack of the same things, I feel angry that things that are so abundant on one side of the world can cause so much suffering and death on another side but mostly I feel helpless! That even being so conscious of so much through my own experiences and those of others I have known, there’s so little I DO. I feel guilty looking around me and seeing so much of everything but also seeing in my head those who are at this moment living the life which I myself lived not so long ago. I feel helpless that I can’t transmit my experiences like an infectious disease so that through me those around me may be inspired to do something beyond feeling bad and sorry about the state of the world.

But as I turn off the shower most mornings, the last thing I feel is hope. Because I have met many people who live not just for themselves but for others, many in whose eyes I have seen that pity is just the first step and someday they will take the next step and take action within their capacity. I feel hopeful that not only will my tiny and seemingly insignificant actions someday mean something to someone but that I will inspire others to take those tiny actions as well because as we all know, tiny drops make an ocean!

Yes, my morning showers are a gigantic cocktail of emotions! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S.:This was written by my amazing sister (Zainie Matem on FB) She ended it with this statement “I am NOT a writer, don’t judge too harshly but I hope I passed my message across.”
In my opinion however, this is simply beautiful and so true. Many of us spend so much time talking and complaining about our countries and the world and how our leaders are just not doing enough but what have we actually done ourselves, it simply isn’t enough for us to like stuff on FB. “Tiny drops make an ocean”. Do one thing for one person today.


©Adeola Matemilola 2014

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4 thoughts on “Shower Time

  1. Your amazing sister certainly passed her message across. Shower time for me is a time of introspection, mulling over ideas, while hot water just pours and pours. I take it for granted. She’s reminded me to be grateful. There are several organizations worldwide (and in Nigeria), tackling water scarcity issues. If one is so inclined, donating to them is “doing” something. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great piece!
    Your sister did a great job here reminding me how far I have come. Her story resonates completely. The guilt of being out of where one used to be can be overpowering sometimes especially when that is the reality of millions of people around.
    The idea of donating to existing projects is fantastic. Thank you

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