At Maryhouse Catholic Worker, in New York City, word arrived, on a hot August day that, due to street construction, the water would be cut off for four hours the following day. The Catholic Worker community serves scores of guests each day, and the water shortage would have to be dealt with practically. Catholic Workers are legend for being practical in their approach toward problem solving, and in this matter a decision was quickly made: fill the bathtubs on each floor with water, post a sign that none of the toilets could be used, and quickly make one hundred or so egg salad sandwiches which could be served to guests at the door since it wouldn’t be practical to invite people indoors when there wouldn’t be any running water. How could they wash the dishes? What about the women who were accustomed to coming in and taking a shower? And how could you close off the toilets to the usual flow of guests?
I smiled to myself, remembering an invitation I had just received to experiment with using only 6.3 gallons of water, per person, over the course of an entire day. The experiment would be nearly impossible for most U.S. people to fulfill. The invitation came from the Middle East Children’s Alliance, who are coordinating the 2012 Thirsting for Justice Summer Challenge, in the US, which calls on supporters worldwide to live on 6.3 gallons in one day, in solidarity with the average allotment of water available to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
For more on this story, visit: Thirsting for Justice | Voices for Creative Nonviolence.