Imagine watching the world cup final game, second half just started, and suddenly, Blackout! No electricity. This has been my life for several years until inverters and generators became affordable to certain families like mine. Yet most families have not reached this level and cannot afford these tools. Interestingly I’ve noticed a strange thing about the blackout, which has surprisingly taken me to its bright side. Stick with me and in the following lines you’ll discover how bright the dark can be.
I’ve been to several places, and have seen the lack of electricity affecting people in so many different ways, that I came to realize that, too much of any blessing becomes its opposite. One should seek the right measure in all. There are, of course, many advantages of having proper access to electricity:
Candle light is outdated and boring. I used to spend hours studying with them, and let me tell you, it is not a good experience at all. My mother always motivated us to finish our lessons before the sunset. So that we wouldn’t have to read and study by candles. The most common side effects are headache and discouragement. I’ve been to a place called Savanette, where the luckiest ones have solar panels and batteries but most live day in and day out on candles and oil lamps. There is no electrical coverage in Savanette. With proper access to electricity, School success rates will increase.
Safety and Security
Imagine walking in a complete dark street, so dark that you tend to use your cellphone to light up your path. That’s the life of some of my friends who have to wake up at 4am to go to work. Nowadays in the metropolitan area we have sun powered street lights that are incredibly useful, but they only cover the main areas. The tiny streets where most people live aren’t covered. In the country side it is even worst! Street safety and security will increase considerably with proper access to electricity.
Now you know why most businesses in Haiti only work from 8 to 5! All the money that they should’ve paid the state for electricity goes to fuel companies. So they spend more. They are ready to pay for 24hrs of electricity but the country simply cannot respond to their demand. If you want to build a business you must add an alternative source of energy to your list of equipment, and they are not cheap at all. Even boutiques need alternatives, that’s why they go for portable sun powered and rechargeable lights. With proper access to electricity private business will run easier and will be affordable to more of people.
The Bright Side
There are many advantages I have not put here but those are the most important ones. Now, as promised let me introduce you to the bright side of the blackout. A side that most of you will understand and have even had glimpses of.
With electricity comes technologies like television, video games, radio, smartphones, laptop etc. all of these are attention catchers. We get so caught up in them that we forget life is happening away from them. Two days with a complete energy blackout would be the best cure for any of us. I’ve experienced it, and have realized that only in those moments of complete blackout, my family and I really gather together, spending some quality time that television and smartphone never allow us. I’m talking about real laugh, outside of the house, or even inside. No matter where we are, everyone seem finally present when their phone, tablet, or laptop is down. These moments are so bright that I think they would fix most family problems and conflicts.
As I said earlier too much of any blessing becomes its opposite. I would highly recommend those with a 24/7 electricity rate to spend one or two days in blackout. And those with blackout to have the blessings of experiencing the 24/7 electricity rate. For only those who can balance both will really take advantages of these technologies and make their life better in so many ways.