Toxic water and no answers



Nearly a half million people have been without clean running water for over two days where I live. I don’t live in a third world county or in a war zone. I live in Toledo, Ohio, in the midwest of the United States. 

We have been told the water supply is unsafe to consume, heat up, wash with, or even put on living plants. There is a toxin in the water supply called microcystin. It comes from the overgrown algae bloom in Lake Erie. This is where the city get its water. 

There are several things we have not been told.
-What is the most recent tested level of microcystin?
-What is the accepted safe level?
-How often is the water tested for it?
-How long does it take to process the test?
-Is the City of Toledo still processing these tests?
-What are any of the results?
-Is it getting better, worse or staying the same?
-What are the conditions needed to have safe water again?

Why isn’t the government of the people, by the people, for the people sharing any of this information with the people? I don’t even care about fault right now.  I’d like to know approximately when I can put my clothes in the washing machine or run my dishwasher or take a hot shower.

One true positive by-the-people action to be seen are the many who are pulling together to help each other out in this situation while the powers that be don’t release any information. 

Sent you two boats and a helicopter...

I was reminded today of the joke about the preacher who confronted G-d about not saving his life which led me to this interesting piece. Good stuff in there from Troy DuFrene.

As a guy fumbling for change, thought, recognizing the poverty of knowledge gives me a little hope. I'm getting comfortable with the fact that, try as I might, I'm not going to be able to read everything, absorb everything, figure everything (or anything) out. Instead, I'm going to try slowing down enough to be able to hear that voice calling to me through the megaphone from above.

G-d shakes his head and says, "What did you want from me? I sent you two boats and a helicopter..."

The Warrior of Light and Courage

Saw this at Paulo Coelho's site. Wanted to pass it along here...

The warrior of light knows the value of persistence and of courage.
Often, during combat, he receives blows that he was not expecting.
And he realises that, during the war, his enemy is bound to win some of the battles.
When this happens, he weeps bitter tears and rests in order to recover his energies a little.
But he immediately resumes his battle for his dreams.
The longer he remains away, the more likely he is to feel weak, fearful and intimidated.
When a horseman falls off his horse, if he does not remount immediately, he will never have the courage to do so again.

Kindness of a stranger

Forgot my wallet at home today so for lunch I had to resort to a place that takes Square Wallet. In downtown Toledo that leaves two options, a sandwich shop and a coffee place.

It turns out Jominic's, the sandwich joint, is out of business. Option two was Bleak House. I ordered a medium pour over coffee. As it was being made, a stranger who was on his way out paid for my order. Guess I didn't need Square after all today.

I think I'm still a little shocked as I'm sitting in this coffee house while sipping a brilliant cup of java.

Every 10 minutes, someone dies

Fate? I'm not sure. I don't really believe in fate.

I met with a potential client Monday looking for insight with a social media campaign to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Two days prior at 1:12 a.m. I received an email from a friend about someone close who had just passed away from Leukemia. His battle lasted less than a year. He was told his cancer had gone into remission. In November that was prognosis changed.

I believe things happen for a reason. I also believe I may not understand those reasons. (This is the bit that drives me a little batty.)

I guess you could say I'm on board with this campaign. If I pay attention to signs, and sometimes I do, I have to help. It was meant to be. Yeah, I know I don't believe in fate.

"Every four minutes another person is diagnosed with blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies."

Solving problems or just patching them

I read this question a few hours after I learned about the Connecticut elementary school shooting.

There are so many things wrong in our country, how can we ever fix it?

Here is my two cents.

How can we ever fix it? We fix it by building stronger communities. We fix it by getting to know our neighbors, our neighborhoods. We fix it by not just looking out for our individual children but everyone’s children. We fix it by taking care of each other, by being supportive instead of combative. We fix it by not just looking out for me but looking out for we. This is something much of this country lost a long time ago.

Tragedies are easy to blame on a crazy person, or guns, or terrorists, or poor laws. Our country, our cities, our individual communities need to not place blame, but rather remember how to build a caring community. Build the type of communities that see the fragile human being in each of us. It doesn’t help anyone to become a group of hard asses. In the long run it doesn’t even help the hard ass.

In our quest to be the best, to have the most, to keep up with the Jones’s and yes to try to one up them, we forget some fundamental truths. Fundamental truths like, we are all in this together.

The missing sense of a strong, compassionate family/community is the problem. This is why modern day gangs exist. The primal need to belong to a group, a group that looks out for you, is the driving force. Much of America has lost that strong family unit. There are so many of us that are “on our own”.

It is so easy to blame the incident. It is hard to look at the root cause and fix it.

In fact, this is why our health care system is broken. It tries patch ailments instead of determining causes to the problems. This is what is wrong with the education system. Throwing more money at it isn’t the solution. Finding why, as a community, we aren’t more engaged in educating our youth is the problem. Trumpeting athletic achievements over actual education and innovative thinking is the problem.

So many times when tragedies strike, whether on a personal or community level, we want to blame. We want to "fix" the problem. The real fix is finding out why these situations happen to begin with. The real fix is at a base level that many people don't want to look at. It is much easier to say let's ban guns, or make everyone go through naked body scanners when they travel, or give the group more money. These are band-aids that in the long run won't give the desired result.

Getting involved in other people's live from a compassionate perspective. This is where we begin to fix the country.