I believe that The Water Revolution is upon us. It doesn’t take a whole lot of Internet research to discover that fresh water distribution is a very contentious topic in many parts of North America. Whether reading about the Colorado River, and its predicted inability to slake the southwestern United States’ agricultural and residential thirst, or the protectionist attitudes emanating from our fresh-water-wealthy neighbor, Canada, the time for transformation is now. And don’t worry; the “R” word is simply a dramatized and eye-catching synonym for change; I like it a whole lot better than “water wars.”
I’ve been a “water guy” for about eight years, ever since I was introduced to the benefits of filtering all of the taps in my home. Yes, that includes my showers. At that time, I was motivated simply by reasons of health consciousness. My passion for water, though, and my devotion to energize change has only recently come to fruition. In October 2006, I departed a very successful Wall Street career and joined a start up in the water industry. This opportunity presented itself at the exact moment when the joy in financial services was quickly fading. I wanted something more, something of substance. As life would have it, water became my catalyst for change.
I am passionate about all life, about my children, about our planet’s future, and about helping others. I believe that the human collective can take full responsibility for its actions, face the many challenges that we’ve collectively created, and move forward into the future with intention and integrity. I believe in the power of hope, and the more we strive to heal our planet, the greater abundance all living things will enjoy.
I also know that I am not alone in my beliefs. More and more people, every day, are waking up to the reality that we better get busy changing, or get busy dying, to paraphrase a famous quote from the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.” My contribution in this effort has to do with water. I believe education and awareness can reduce waste, and understanding the harsh realities of others often times can enact change. For example, my guess is that the desire for a greener front lawn would quickly diminish if one had to walk a mile for two 5-gallon buckets. Well, there are societies on this planet, where the women of the household have to do that every day, not to water the grass, but to cook food, hydrate children, and simply survive. By elevating water consciousness to the deserved status of “precious,” I believe that many, many more peoples’ thirst can be quenched.
I have to thank my two daughters for introducing me to “This, I Believe.” I hope that my words resonate with all who come across them, and that the courage to change starts today. In gratitude, I am James O’Connor.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.