Flint: “….but what if it was you?” By Delayne Whiteside

#TrueStory Apr 13 2018 my apartment complex sends out a mass letter to all of the residents stating:

“On April 17-18, we will be working on a water problem and the water supply for the complex will be down from the hours of 8am-6pm each day. We are working really hard to correct this problem and we extremely apologize for any inconvenience that it may cause. Thank you for your patience.”

All things considered, after what I had just been through, it really didn’t bother me. Being homeless during the cold months will have a person just grateful to have a roof over their head. However, I did want to do my due diligence and prepare for the day mentioned. So I figured I’d buy 4 gallons of water and a 24 pack of bottled water to heat up if need be. After all, how much water would I really need right?

Finally the day of reckoning came. My plan was to wake up before 8am and handle all of my business before they got started, but I overslept, and fortunately, favor was on my side. As I get away with my regularly scheduled morning commode appointment, I think nothing of it as I flush. Everything is still working properly. Next, I prance toward the shower and I commence to turn the shower on…Oh Shit! Nothing. Not one drop.

I smile and I head toward the kitchen to warm up the water I purchased. I took out three pots and filled all three with 2 jugs of water. A hoe bath is getting ready to go down. As I look down, two jugs are gone just to wash my body. After I bring all the pots to a boil, I dump them in the bath tub. I take a lukewarm jug to make the water tolerable. I then add 6 bottles of water to ensure I don’t burn myself. I smile to myself and say “Man this shit is a breeze, I could survive a drought if I needed to.” I get out the bathtub to get dressed. As I make my way toward the kitchen I noticed there were dishes in the sink that had been there since Sunday and Monday night. I look on the floor and I see only one jug left. I have a choice, I could wait until 6pm or I could wash the dishes now. I wash the pertinent ones with food on them. Finally I’m done and I start to smile like nothing to it right?


I couldn’t tell you why my mind immediately shifted to the people of Flint, Michigan but it did. I called a friend of mine from around that particular part of Michigan to check on him. I just wanted to know how he survived that water crisis from 2014. He says ” Bruh we just now gettin out this shit and some peoples water is still fucked up” 

This isn’t going to be a blog spitting actual factuals about the Flint Water Crisis. This is a blog about empathy. The past 3 months taught me a great deal about putting the shoe on the other foot to see how it would feel if I was on the other end of misfortune. So that when I come back up in society, I would never look down on someone because they fell on hard times.

But do me a favor real quick…just go in your mind and think about the things we complain about on an everyday basis. Look at the many people we look down upon because we think they are beneath us. My water was only shut down temporarily for 2 days and that wasn’t even all day. But I went through 4 jugs of water and 12 bottles in one day. Now let’s go back when it was like pulling teeth to send people water to Michigan when they were going through their crises. I imagined the discomfort I felt for 2 days and immediately felt grateful considering the resident of Flint MI did not have clean water for up to 4 years.

I’m not saying you have to save the world, but even if its just on your knees to pray for the world, do that. This article isn’t about gloom and doom, it’s about spreading love where you can. If you have lived a respectable amount of time and you are fortunate enough to have never experienced tragedy I applaud you. But for the rest of us that know what it’s like to be on the brink of insanity because of unexpected tragedy or turn of misfortune…don’t forget to give thanks to where all of your blessings come from.



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