When I read stories, I usually prefer the fictional ones. The tragedies might be representative of real life, might be capable of teaching about different experiences and problems–but there’s that extra space between the story and reality. Something similar might have happened to other people, but something similar might somehow be prevented from happing to other people as well.
This is a story. It’s a real story. I can see the places in it where it might have had a different ending–the paths that I might want the story to take, to turn it into a triumph for someone with the will to change things for the better. That’s presumptuous of me. I didn’t even know about her fifteen minutes ago, but she’s been gone for fourteen years.
Somehow, through a combination of narrative and pictures, this reiteration of this story catches an echo of the tragedy behind it. Usually, this kind of thing makes me feel hopeless–but oddly enough, not this time. I’ve decided that my hope comes from the fact that the organization telling me this story is already doing something about it. It’s been doing something about it for a while.
And so, when I read this story, I don’t feel impotent. Because not only is charity: water already doing something, but I can see something tangible I can do myself. Doesn’t matter how small, it’s something.