Many folks have heard this phrase… “he’s so poor, he can’t even afford a pot to piss in.” We use it as a figure of speech, but for 1 billion people on this planet, right now, in the year 2013, it’s a reality. Literally, according to the United Nations, “1 billion people, 15% of the world population, practice open defecation.” These are people who literally do not have access to a toilet, not even a shared one, not even an OPEN one where a bunch of people sit in front of each other and do their business because there’s nowhere else to go…
That really drives some perspective. How is that even possible? Why don’t we see that on the nightly news? Maybe because it doesn’t sell. I laugh all the time about how it is 2013 and our species seems so behind its capabilities collectively. But when I think about it, it is usually in terms of “first world” problems like education systems, justice systems, civic and governance systems, economic systems…blah blah blah.
Now I am reading about the most basic system of all: a place to go poop, and there’s a billion people that don’t have a place?? Like for reals? That’s ridonkulous.
OK, so now what…I am just supposed to go back to my life and say,”Sorry you billion people but, I sure am glad it ain’t me. haha!”
Well, that’s what typically happens, I guess. Everyone’s kinda focused on their piece of their pie, and I am not much different. . . . BUTT, maybe I should be.
Let’s think about this… we got 7 billion people now? 6 billion of them have a place to poop. That’s a plus. But what does that do? It does things like raise the child mortality rate, slows the spread of disease, and improves the sustainability of the planet. I mean, poop is good for the planet, but 7 billion people worth of poop is a lot of poop. So let’s say we give this missing billion a place to “pop a squat” as they say… let’s say we do that. Then what happens?
We still have 7 billion people… now they all have bathrooms. That’s good in some ways, but there’s still 7 billion of them, and the more we improve health the more crowded it is going to get.
At this point, some people put their villain hat on and say, then maybe we should be getting RID of places to poop. So mortality and disease can go up and we can all die a little younger on average. . . . . as long as it doesn’t happen in MYYYYY neighborhood (wink wink).
I don’t think that’s the answer.
And there’s a gazillion other factors to consider… for example, a lot of economic systems are reliant on growth in consumerism in order to thrive, so the more people the planet can support, the more money there is to be made by the Illuminati or whatever. But then, if I were an Illuminati, would I care about money? Not really – at that point it is about power. So maybe they aren’t interested in the planet supporting more hoomanz, maybe it is part of the cosmic plan for things to go to a certain breaking point. Who knows. . .and that’s me speculating on someone else’s agenda.
I care about my agenda. What is my agenda? Well, when it comes to poop, I think we should all have a place to go – from the Illuminati to the Indian salt farmer, to the African Saharan sand comber. I have what Covey calls an “abundance mentality” – so let’s pack as many of us as we can on this rock, let’s foster ridiculous amounts of learning across all of civilization, lets colonize this galaxy. But first… let’s all have a damn place to poop!!
Or so we think. There are other factors to consider. For example, we might think, “if we build it, they will poop.” But, this is not the case. I have a good friend, and one day we theorized that if an advanced species came to Earth, an effective way to kill us all would be to simply give us free light sabers. Seriously, we’d all be dead in like, an hour. Research already shows, without proper education, some people have a toilet, and instead they use it to bathe, or store their weed and stuff.
So, maybe the first step is education and let people DECIDE what they want, then let them put policies and government in place to obtain it, or something like that.
It’s not as easy a problem to fix as I would hope… there’s serious infrastructure involved and people need to have the skill to engineer, build and subsequently maintain the physical structures, the ongoing supply chain, the financial systems, and of course the laws/policies that pertain to these systems. Just building it is not the answer… communities need to evolve and mature to the point where they value having a place to poop.
Then there is the whole debate of what system to put in place… think about it – our current poop systems waste a LOT of water. Are toilets REALLY the way to go (pun intended)??? Isn’t there some way to do this using other technology? Something that requires less infrastructure, uses less or no water, and produces useful output (fertilizer, or maybe fuel pellets, or something)? Just saying!
Anyway, today, I learned this crazy fact… and I realized we need to figure out toilets before we figure out spaceships, and I still think the answer is going to be in empowering people through knowledge.
One thing is for sure, I’m never gonna look at a toilet the same way again…