Realize and React

In the article, “Where the Water Goes,” David Owen presents the idea that people throughout our society are not educated on where our source of water in the United States comes from. David Owen continues his article by also demonstrating why this point is relevant. As I did my research on Bangladesh and continued to read this article, I became aware that people, as well as myself, don’t recognize how privileged we are to have such an abundant source of water. Is there a possibility because of the abundance of water, people don’t care where it comes from?


I believe that our use of water sources has become such a usual activity in our lives that most people don’t even think about whether the water coming from the shower tip or the sink will ever stop. We have become so entitled to having so much water that having a limit to our quantity of this resource would feel weird. The fact that people with the most water do not know where their source of water is coming from versus the people living in Bangladesh do is concerning. People living in poverty-stricken areas must hunt for water as we sit in our houses living lavishly without a care in the world about this vital resource. When David Owen says, “All I knew was that every time I attached a hose to a spigot and turned it on, I could run it full force until it was time to go home” proves that even young adults at the age of twenty-one do not have the care to know where our plentiful source in the United States comes from. The fact that we have the privilege to sit back during the summer and use as much water from the “hose” as possible conveys that we probably do not need this superfluous abundance of water in our lives. Do people really need to leave the sink running while brushing their teeth or take forty-five-minute showers? I believe that if people took 15 minutes out of their day to read about the status about where their supply of water is coming from, people living lavishly during summer would cut back and save this resource for the better. People who do not know where their water is coming from must realize that people around the world suffer from the lack of water. Ultimately, I believe we must get rid of this idea of not caring for water just because it is so common in our lives.


The famous quote, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” proves that we should not feel as if one man’s trash is everyone’s trash, rather believe and take into consideration that many live in much tougher and harsher conditions than others and that we must remember how privileged we are to have this necessity as a common resource.

Fear of Discomfort

In the play, By the Water, written by Sharyn Rothstein, Marty Murphy presents his love and compassion of the house he owns in Staten Island, New York by ignoring the comments and opinions of his closest loved one’s. Marty Murphy is defensive about leaving this house behind because of the many memories and history that have been developed over the past few decades. Even though this is a very obvious response of Marty Murphy’s feelings towards being asked to leave, is there a chance Marty does not want to part ways with this house because of his fear of discomfort?

I believe many humans live a life following a fixed program. Everyone wakes up in the morning, brushes their teeth, eats breakfast, goes to work or school, etc. Society has made humans become used to the idea of repetition, which gives people a sense of calmness. I believe Marty Murphy has reached an age where people become too comfortable with this repetition. Ultimately, when the house is inflicted by the storm, Marty becomes agitated and afraid of altering this comfortable lifestyle he has become accustomed to living. This agitation and fear are viewed when he says, “this is where we belong, Sal. This is where everyone knows us: We’re Marty and Mary Murphy. We have history here. Besides, we’ve survived storms like this before” (Rothstein, 12). Marty finds a deep affection for living his life in this house because he has spent his entire life accepting that this is the position he will be in for the rest of his life. Marty expresses his fear of leaving and accepting a different future while saying “This is where everyone knows us.” He fears the idea of leaving his past and becoming no one. He finds a purpose because of the decades of his life he has spent living his comfortable life. As a result, Marty’s discomfort of visualizing a life without his house, conveys his fear of losing a particular lifestyle filled with his particular daily routines. I believe Marty is not worried about losing an old house passed down from generation to generation, but is scared of losing a life of comfort.

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

In the film, The Little Mermaid, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, King Triton changes from a close-minded father to a person who takes a chance to learn more about a foreign lifestyle. Everyone has a tendency to judge anyone that they observe for the first time. Human minds quickly stereotype others into categories that one might find suitable for a stranger just by the way they look or speak. First impression judgement is a sequence of events our minds cannot avoid doing. Ultimately is King Triton unfairly categorizing humans as bad people without truly understanding their societal ways.

King Triton’s first impression of the “barbarians” that live on land is that they are all killers and that her daughter will be in danger if she goes towards the surface. Through this statement by King Triton, the audience clearly understands that he is not accustomed to the human lifestyle and does not comprehend their reasons for utilizing the ocean. King Triton is simply judging a book by its cover and is hating on humans without substantial evidence. Similarly, in My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears, the Americans judge the narrator’s grandmother without substantial evidence of why she is doing these particular actions. This idea is reflected upon King Triton and demonstrates that if we simply take time out of our lives to understand more about others the world would be a much more peaceful place. King Triton initially becomes close-minded towards humans for killing but does not realize they only depend on the ocean to receive a resource (fish) to help humans live without experiencing starvation. Only if Triton took the time to understand why the “barbarians” were always attacking the ocean (before his daughter forced him to see the true side of humans), there would truly be no hostility.

Unrequited Love

In AS Byatt’s, Sea Story, the ocean and the water hold a special place in Harold’s heart. The slightest idea of Harold being away from the sea cripples him and makes him feel a sense of depression and loneliness. This idea of unhappiness is encountered while Harold is away studying in Oxford and is unfortunately surrounded by nothing but land. It is clear that Harold depends on the ocean as a source for happiness and assistance. This is evident when Harold depends on the sea to use its currents to send a bottled love letter to Laura, but Harold’s actions end up damaging the purity of the ocean. Does Harold’s indirect actions of littering due to his dependency upon water as a messenger reflect society’s one-sided relationship with the ocean?

We, humans, depend on the ocean and find love and joy in water as much as Harold. Water is one of the most critical sources to help mankind continue and prosper. The idea of having water be a common item that society can buy anywhere, distracts people from appreciating it more than we should. People tend to forget what the world would be like if society did not have water or oceans. The quote, “The cap detached itself, and was swallowed by a green turtle which mistook it for a glass eel” (Byatt), allows the reader to see the result of Harold’s actions. Harold and society both depend on the ocean for assistance, but peoples’ actions only continue to weaken the ocean with trash and waste. Oceans present humans with so many vital things, while humans present the oceans with filth and trash that only makes our most abundant source less common. Just because Harold might have a deeper connection to the ocean than someone else does not give him any right to harm it for his own personal reasons. Both, Harold and society, must not think of water as a resource that can help individuals but as a resource humans can give back to by being more environmentally friendly.