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Blog Action Day- a story of personal redemption

Since its inception in 2007, AgentGenius.com has participated in Blog Action Day, an annual event that “unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day” in an effort to heighten awareness on global issues. This year, the topic is water:

We asked people to submit creative pieces describing what it would be like if they woke up tomorrow and all of the drinking water in America was toxic? You think you have time to conserve and that a Brita filter will fix everything, but given that 40% of American waterways are already too polluted to fish or even swim, do you really have time? Our world is so arrogant with water use that we don’t even bat an eye that it takes 400 gallons of water to produce a single cotton shirt. How can we justify this to our grandchildren when there is no more safe drinking water in our midst?

Below is Indianapolis Realtor, Ryan Crozier’s creative entry. We invite you to add your thoughts to the comments as to how YOU would react if you woke up to toxic water nation wide?


Dear Diary,

The last 21 hours have been a living hell. My wife Andrea & I woke up @ 6:45am to the sound of our neighbor Elizabeth banging on our kitchen window. She was screaming hysterically about water. Still groggily from sleep and in my pajamas I thought her house was on fire the way she was screaming about WATER!!! I opened the sliding door and began pouring water into a bucket when Elizabeth finally made a complete sentence and told me “The water is toxic… it’s all over the news… the water is toxic!” My first thought was that this was just another one of those “investigative reports” our local news station does to uncover some “major issue” wrong in our community.

Andrea quickly flipped on the TV to discover this was much more than a few bad water samples from the water treatment facility. This was a national issue. The United States water supply had been contaminated with toxins. Elizabeth ran to the next house to alert the rest of our neighbors. I’m so thankful she woke us up this morning before we sat down to our daily bagels & cups of coffee made with the contaminated water!

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The news told us not to panic; that things would be alright. Well, the entire day was filled with nothing but panic. Everywhere I went people were in a state of absolute emergency. I’ve never seen so many people angry and fighting. It was crazy because just the day before today everyone was fine. In fact, I remember on my drive home from work seeing a number of homes in our neighborhood with the sprinkler on. Today, that same water is the source of so much hurt & pain.

Luckily, Andrea & I were able to fill our bath tubs, air mattresses, rubber-maid containers, & buckets with water before it was turned off by the city around 8:15am. We plan on boiling the water over the coming days & weeks to purify it from the toxins so we can use it for drinking water. I am telling absolutely no one because of the immediate threat of robbers breaking in and stealing our water. After the water was turned off I decided to head out and see if any local stores still had any water available. Andrea stayed home to protect the little water we do have. Leaving the house was a huge mistake. The stores were overrun by people. It reminds me of the news footage from Hurricane Katrina… just mass chaos. (It’s ironic that Hurricane Katrina was caused by water and this was caused by a lack of water.) People were standing out in the parking lot trying to sell gallons of water for anywhere from $200-$500. It was a scene out of a movie.

After leaving the store, I drove by the small church on Main Street. (The church that always has that goofy sign “C H _ _ C H – What’s missing? U R!”) Well, today they had handwritten “Free Water & Free Prayer”. I couldn’t believe it. This church actually had large bottles of water and was giving each person 1 bottle for FREE!!!! I struck up a conversation with a little old lady named Jeanne. As she handed me my free bottle of water she took my hand and said “God Loves You… He always has & always will” I asked her how she could be so calm & peaceful during a time like this? She leaned in and whispered in my ear “I trust in the Lord”.
I looked up and saw that she had a tear in her eye. She took out a pen and with her hand shaking she wrote…. “Jeremiah 17:5-8” in the palm of my hand. She gave me a big hug and told me to go home and look it up in my Bible as she started to serve other people their free bottle of water. Little does she know that I haven’t touched a Bible in over 20 years.

By this time it was around 2:30pm. All the stores were shut down and lots of people were leaving town. I’m really not sure where they were going. Somebody told me they were headed to Lake Michigan to see if more water was available there. Something inside me told me to stay put. The best thing I could do is protect & provide for my family. I headed back home to find Andrea had already called through our address book to see how family & friends were doing. My mom was already on her way down to stay with us for a while. Luckily, she too was smart enough to collect about 30 gallons of water and she was bringing it to our house.

When she arrived around 7:30pm we carried in all her stuff and placed her water supply in the basement next to ours. We sat down at the dinner table and she told us about her day. The drive from my mom’s house normally takes two hours. But because of all the traffic it took her six hours today. She said she saw a number of people trying to climbing water towers on her drive down. I guess they thought they could just open them up and get a drink?

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Usually, I give my wife a hard time for the time she spends on Facebook & Twitter, but today is came in real handy. We were able to get updates from friends and discover that the water is drinkable as long as it is boiled for 5 minutes. People were posting on Twitter that rain was in the forecast. I guess, too many people found out about the the “water tweets” because not too long after that the twitter “Fail Whale” was all we could see no matter how many times we reload the page.

It’s now almost 4:00am… Andrea is asleep in bed. My mom is sleeping in the guest room and I’m in my office. I never in a million years thought this would happen. Of course, I’ve seen on the news how there is water shortage in Africa, but I never even dreamed this for the United States. I went down into the basement and dug up that old Bible my grandma gave me when I turned 13. It took me a few minutes but I finally found the book of Jeremiah (who knew the Bible had so many books) and found the verses Jeanne wrote on my hand…

Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
—Jeremiah 17:5-8

I think I just heard rain drops on the window. Yep! It’s raining! Thank You God It’s rain!

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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