africa2

It’s so easy to forget…

As I was reading an article on TIME.com today, it struck me how easy it is to forget.

Sure, I spend all day working on nonprofit media. I know the tragedies that are hitting the world. I deal with it day in and day out. I feel the pain, do what I can to help, and then I go home. I play with my dog. I water the garden. I eat dinner. I read a book. I do all the things I do. And I forget.

Here is southeast Virginia, we have only had a good rain once in the last 3 weeks, and at that it was far too short. My garden would be desperately struggling if we didn’t water it twice every day. My husband takes the morning shift, I do the evening. And the vegetable plants are still green and growing. But I grumble and complain about the time it takes to water it every day.

Then I read this article in TIME. “Much of the nation [Somalia] hasn’t seen rain since November, and some 55,000 people have already had to leave their homes this year — literally in search of greener pastures.”

No rain since November? Months of drought? But it gets worse.

The article explains that this isn’t just a 7-month drought; this is a 36-year drought. It has brought the nation tumbling into an unstable state where pirates and terrorists thrive and ordinary people are paying exuberant prices for food staples.

I look at my healthy, lush vegetable garden thinking of all the yummy food it will yield, thinking of the money I will save, and I realize that I am not so bad off after all. In fact, I have well-water, so I’m not even paying anything to water the garden twice every day. And more than that–I actually have access to water! I’m not being forced to flee in search of fertile ground, I’m not in danger from terrorists taking up residence, my government isn’t hanging on by a thread.

Now, if I can just remember that when I go home this evening…

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