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It was a day like most other week-days, filled with the routine of work and other banalities of my existence. I'd just driven home for lunch and, as my meal slowly rotated in the microwave, I sipped from a glass of 2% low-fat milk from a jug I'd bought, on sale, at a nearby Sprint Mart. After a short time, I got bored and started aimlessly flipping through the five or six local channels I'm able to pull from the ether until I get around to ordering cable.

As is to be expected, the selection was quite poor, consisting mostly of soap operas and talk/court-room shows where celebrities ramble about their boring lives or people complain about their cheating spouses and thieving neighbors. Finally, having been unable to find anything of greater interest, I settled on a talk show featuring a country music singer who had overcome drug and alcohol abuse and moved on to live a "more fulfilling life."

Suddenly, as I sat and brooded over my own personal troubles, I realized that the station's programming had switched to commercials and that I was watching a group of sickly little African children drinking from what looked like a stagnant mud puddle. Their bloated stomachs jutted out in contrast to their stick-like limbs as they drank from cupped hands. The narrator, meanwhile, was talking about their plight and how, lacking proper plumbing facilities in their village, they were being forced to drink water tainted with just about every variety of parasite imaginable, as well as fecal matter.

On to the next advertisement, sponsored by a different organization, which featured what seemed like a legion of childern in some Latin American country. They were all walking around knee deep in a garbage dump where, no doubt, their parents had sent them to fetch leftovers that someone like me had considered unworthy of his or her delicate palate.

So there I sat watching these pathetic little creatures drinking liquid shit and wading through piles of disgusting rubbish. Children brought into this shitty world by no fault of their own, who would never realize their full potential because they had been denied such simple things as food and education, being sent out instead to scavenge for their own livelihood. They would probably become pregnant by the age of fifteen and send their own children out for the latest entré from the "Café de Crap."

All of a sudden, the skyscraper of problems I though I had was reduced to an insignificant grain of sand. I thought about the image, shown minutes before, of the African children dancing and cheering around a little water pump installed over a well drilled thanks to funds donated to the organization. I pondered the fact that these kids could be so affected by something so simple as a water faucet and, at that moment, I decided to make a donation... it later felt kind of good, knowing that I'd just helped make the world a little less shitty for someone.

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