Failure. Flying. Rejection. Heights. Public speaking.

We all have fears, some more than others, some worse than others. Currently, I fear the world that is changing before my eyes. It’s not as if it suddenly hit me, but under the current circumstances, these sudden feelings of unease and guilt have hit me particularly hard.

The abnormal climate changes have led to a massive flood in the northern sections of Peru, the country where I’m currently residing it, and it has affected the whole country on different levels. This phenomenon has been denoted as the “coastal el Niño” and the whole country is in a state of emergency. Personally, I’m only affected by the sudden water cut in my area, but my family and I can survive on the cistern (tank for storing water) at least for a few days, so we’re all ok.

However, this phenomenon has been going on for several days now, and it’s the first time that I’ve felt the disturbances so close to me. You read on the news, every once in a while, about some disaster that destroys a city or town completely, whether it be a flood or earthquake, and you try to help and/or donate as much as you can to the cause. But when the disaster hits so close to your own home, it’s such a different scenario.

You can actually feel the panic if you go outside, especially to the poorer districts. You read on the news online about the government doing everything it can to stabilize the situation, but no sense of stability comes to you. I am typing this post sitting on a comfortable chair at my desk, but I feel so unstable and guilt-ridden. I donated to the cause a few days ago, but was that enough? Should I be doing more? Or should I be making sure we have enough water to last us more days? What is going on?

I am scared, but the thing that I’m worried about is not what’s happening right now. I’m worried about whether the things that I do and the career(s) that I intend to pursue are aligned with the world’s current events. Should I change my lifestyle to become as environmentally-friendly as possible? Should I choose a career that concerns people, or should I focus on a career that concerns the very world we live in more?

I was at a friend’s birthday party yesterday, and on the way there, I could see people clustered around ‘supply points’ to collect water back to their homes. And there I was, heading to someone else’s house where my friends and I would binge on food and drinks. Should I have gone there to celebrate despite what was going on right outside the doors?

We can always do more, but what about situations like this? Am I a bad person for taking real notice of this when it just so happens to be so close to me? Things like this happen every year; the only difference was that this year’s events were more notorious and catastrophic. I am usually involved in other philanthropic activities, but they are usually unrelated to the environment. But suddenly now the tides have turned.

Am I a hypocrite for caring so much now, just when things are starting to hit near me?

-Michelle

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: what living with water scarcity feels like – mistyprose

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