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Monday, October 8, 2012

The Way of Water

Today, I chose to talk about water. A simple enough molecular structure composed of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom. Everyone needs it and, no, you don’t need any chemical formula to appreciate its value. Water is an example of a liquid that much to teach us about reality and about ourselves.

It’s a liquid that changes structure depending on the environment. It can be ice, snow, rain or steam. In each case, the experience of water changes but, at its foundation, it is still composed of the same molecules. Water may come from the river, the ocean or through the sea. But it remains water and it’s continuously being recycled as it shifts back and forth from the solid, liquid and gas states. The same water falling as rain in New York is not that different than the rain falling in China a few days later. Water droplets are, of course, not exactly the identical ones as they are distinct but, in essence, they are similar.

In this sense, humanity is like water. We constantly change the way we look, the way we think and what we believe. But, at the core, we remain human beings facing the same challenges of life. However, water itself is something that has been instrumental in the creation of life on Earth. Our bodies cannot survive without it and we are mostly made up of water. All our organs depend on it to keep working. Without it, we will die. On the other hand, water can kill us if we drown in it. Water helps us survive but can also be a destructive force when it causes flooding or organises into a tsunami.

Thus, it is only in moderation that water is sustaining and preserving. Excesses at both extremes can either lead to dehydration or suffocation. Water can cause hypothermia. And when you realise how vital water is for our survival and how it makes up over two-thirds of the world’s surface, you quickly realise how, if we continue to pollute our seas with waste, chemicals, nuclear material and oil., we may be compromising the future of all living beings and condemn us to extinction. Lacking an impending space programme that permits us to live on other planets, the water we have on this planet is the only source that can keep life going.

We may have bad experiences of water. W e may have been close to drowning, have an entire life and livelihood because of a flood. You may have even lost loved ones because of the sea. Yet, even if it’s no consolation, water itself is not good or bad, it just follows its nature. We, on the other hand, can adapt to the world and even change our reaction to life. At the same time, like water droplets, we are different in our own ways but so much alike in so much, much more than we want to admit..

For a start, we all depend on water as long as we live.

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