As we approach the 236th birthday of this great country, let us look at how far we have come and be thankful for the daily amenities that we may take for granted.
In science class you learn about Benjamin Franklin and his crafty key and kite experiment. Later, you learn about Thomas Edison and his immeasurable contribution to science when he invented the incandescent light bulb: forever making electricity and lighting affordable for all.
Fast forward to the year 2012, we have constant electricity and we are developing innovative ways in which we can conserve this energy that we have had for so long that we have become spoiled.
While this steady current is something we have come to expect, the people of Lilongwe, Malawi are not so fortunate. I bring up this tiny inland country in southeast Africa because I recently went to go visit my girlfriend there (for those who are curious as to why she is there, she works for a non profit who specializes in aids education). Almost daily, there would come a moment when I would need electricity for one activity or another and come up empty handed. The hardest adjustment came at night when cooking in the dark became its own art form.
I don’t bring up this reality to generate pity for the people of Lilongwe who have to deal with these power outages on a daily basis but to shed light (pun intended) on the privileges we as Americans sometimes don’t take the time to appreciate. With that being said, I ask that we try to do our part to conserve however much or little we can because like anything in our lives, if we don’t appreciate it we eventually take it for granted.
Happy Birthday America.