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Chapter 4: Changing Our Perceptions Through Our Minds

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home ... without concerned citizens' action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain in the larger word. — Eleanor Roosevelt

You are now about to get on with your day. As you shower, remember that we are part of that small percentage of the world's population who can turn on a tap and have hot and cold water when we need it. We love our hot showers and luxurious baths; we would be at a loss without them. And while you remember that, also pay attention to the politics concerning the privatization of water, and be mindful that what we are dumping into our rivers and streams eventually comes back into our drinking and bathing water as well as into the food we produce and consume.

No problem can be solved with the same thinking that created it. —Albert Einstein

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Are you aware that the governing party in Bolivia sold its water to an international corporation to pay down a World Bank loan? The corporation now owned all the water, whether it fell from the sky or came from the river. The already poor peasants had to pay for the water they used. They could barely afford a pail of water on their meager earnings and were charged heavily if found "stealing" rain water. I won't go into all the details and craziness. But a seventeen-year-old organized the peasants, and they overthrew a corrupt government that had sold them out. The young leader and many others lost their lives in this confrontation, but the Bolivians reclaimed the right to their own water.

A committed group of people, mostly teenagers, reclaimed what was rightfully theirs and created change. An awareness of these activities in Bolivia can prevent similar things from happening again. This was not a long time ago—only in the past decade. And it happened while no one was paying attention.

Blessing Those Who Bless Us

Martin Luther King had a great many good things to say about the world. But despite his teaching's enduring power, some of it still falls on deaf ears. Here's one we forget: "Before you finish breakfast this morning, you'll have relied on half the world."

So before you have your breakfast,

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