Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Threads of Connection

It is amazing how we are all interconnected in some way. Today I learned that a person in our church is the niece of a lady I used to drive on the Senior Citizens Transport in Moravia many years ago. They say we all are only separated in our relationships by a few degrees of separation. It is not unusual in casual conversation with someone you have just met to find a mutual friend or acquaintance.

Not only to we have connection by persons but also by place. We recently learned that our house occupies the land that was once part of a 180 farm in South Cortland owned by a parishioner that my wife visited. The nearby pond was once the farm pond for this holding.

Since we humans are all connected in some way it behooves us to be our brothers/sisters keeper. I am now reading the latest issue from the National Geographic on water. Literally billions of people are without adequate water, let alone potable water. Hygiene under those conditions is literally impossible with the result of rampant diarrheal illnesses. I remember growing up on a farm without running water in the house and the challenges it presented for basic hygiene. Fortunately we did have an adequate amount of water.

In my academic career I had the opportunity to teach students about water supplies, water pumps and domestic sewage systems. I know that many of my students served in the Peace Corps and helped many thousands develop sanitation for their villages. Others worked with the development of low cost hydro turbines for electricity production. Although I never personally served in the Peace Corp or in international development I hope that by the hands of my students some of those in need were helped. Perhaps some small comfort as I muse over the plight of the water and sanitation deprived people of the world.

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