Although the lights were out, the power outage did enlighten me. We had been without power for barely more than a day. In that time the school was struggling to cope logistically in terms of food (although sandwiches and BBQ were provided quickly), productivity in the administration offices ground to a halt, the lack of communication caused confusion amongst students and faculty alike, and everyone was fairly bored.
We as a society today are totally, completely and undeniably dependant on electricity, and the technology it powers. While we are still able to go out and do things; play games with friends, basketball, go on walks, read… we find ourselves a little bit lost without out phone or laptop.
It got me thinking, this is a real first world problem! Oh no, your iPhone 5c won’t work? Your top of the range Samsung Ultrabook ran out of batteries? Your lights won’t even turn on?! How shocking and horrendous!
At least we still had running water and plumbing! Could you imagine what we would have had to deal with if that had gone down for 26 hours too?!
But wait… aren’t there people living somewhere else in the world right now who don’t have electricity? Aren’t there people living somewhere else in the world right now who don’t have running water or flushing toilets?
As bad as our little episode was, when you put it in perspective, it wasn’t that bad! We often forget how fortunate we are; we take for granted all these things like electricity and running water, our iPhones and tablets and laptops and tv’s and games consoles. At the end of the day, we were without electricity for a little over 24 hours. One single day.
Just imagine what it must have been like for the people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, when they weren’t just without electricity, but they were without water, plumbing, and most of all their possessions. In some cases, even family members and loved ones were lost.
Their electricity was out for months. They were without running water and toilets for much longer than 24 hours. Those who lost loved ones will have to live with that loss for the rest of their lives.
When you think about it in those terms, we really have nothing to complain about. I had plenty of time to think about it on Thursday/Friday, and I realised how I really have very little right to complain.
We are all incredibly lucky. We have fans to cool us down, internet to speed communication and give us knowledge, phones act as personal assistants that run our lives and connect us to friends and family. We don’t have to walk miles every day to reach clean drinking water. We have toilets when we need to use them.
For me, I’m a little disappointed that I took it all for granted, and that it took 24 hours without just electricity to realise it.
As the people who are going to build the world of tomorrow, let’s not forget what we have. Let’s come together and help out those who need our help, and share with them the luxuries we take for granted every day.