Do You Feel Guilty for Taking a Shower?

Showering-businessFor millions of years, while the earth was cooling and life was developing, there were no people on the planet. Over thousands of years life forms were created and developed. People started walking on the face of the earth. Stinky, smelly people.

For thousands of years, people have dipped in lakes, rivers and streams to get clean. Those bodies and gatherings of water have not always been that clean. Oh, sure, I remember watching videos in grade school of scientists telling how the boundary waters in northern Minnesota had water so clean you could just dip a cup in and drink it, and, sadly, now those days are gone.

Anyhow, my point is, not until the last century of the human race have we had the opportunity to take daily showers with clean hot water. And, still, to this day the majority of the population of the world does not have access to clean hot water.

Yet that doesn’t seem to stop Americans from going through the daily routine of taking a shower. If you’re somebody who takes a shower every day, you probably never even think twice about this, and that’s fine.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you not only take a daily shower, but if something were to interrupt your routine, you’d get pretty upset. I’d be willing to bet that taking a daily shower is not only a ritual for you, I’d be willing to bet you feel entitled to it.

Let’s take it a step further, I’d be willing to bet that, not only do you feel entitled to it, I’ll bet you even feel obligated to take a shower every day. Think about it. You show up at the office without having taken a shower that morning, and you’re probably going to get a few “looks” from your co-workers. If it’s a persistent “problem”, your boss might even pull you aside and have a conversation with you about hygiene in the workplace.

So, we don’t think twice about it. We just do it, and we wouldn’t even think about going through a day without our hot shower…most of us…in America. You’d be crazy not to.

So, that leaves the question, “Do you feel guilty about it?” I mean, think of it. Taking a shower with clean fresh hot water every day is quite a privilege. You’re using up natural resources. Clean water is scarce in most parts of the world. You’re probably using up precious fossil fuels to heat said water. I mean, what makes you so special?

Well, it really has nothing to do with you. The reason you can take a shower every day is not because you’re an especially privileged person, but because of the abundance of fresh clean water in your area, and the relatively low cost to heat that water.

In fact, it’s healthier for all of us if you take that daily hot shower. Believe me, if all those folks in 3rd world nations who bathe in contaminated rivers had the opportunity to take a daily shower in clean hot water, they would take advantage of it. They’d be crazy not to.

What’s my point in all of this? Well, just as surely as you would not feel guilty about taking a shower everyday because of the abundance that surrounds you and the health benefits to yourself and everyone around you, why would you feel guilty about taking advantage of any of the abundance that surrounds you?

For example, if you live in an economy that is booming, and that has large “pipes” with lots and lots of money flowing through it, why would you feel guilty for getting involved with it and letting your share shower down upon you? It’s not your fault that developing nations don’t have the same economic status that your nation does. (I like the term “developing” more than “3rd world”, because it implies that growth is actually happening)

Let me ask you this. If you stopped taking a shower everyday, do you think that would actually be of any benefit to those that do not have access to those same resources? Would you feel better about yourself because now you’re “one of them”? Maybe then you could start being judgmental of all those who take showers every day. You could be better than them, because you don’t waste all those precious resources on yourself like they all do.

Well, good luck with that. Let me know how that works out for you.

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About stevepederson

I am a speaker, author, musician, coach, teacher and web designer. I love nature, photography, exercise and combining these elements when I can.
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