When I was a child, someone once told me that if I peed in the ocean, it would attract sharks. Through much of my childhood, Jaws and its many sequels came out. This was before we saw people swimming with sharks and understood their majesty. Back in those days, even the imaginary thought that a shark would be drawn to my pee was enough to hold it in. As I got older, I realized that it was perfectly okay to pee in the ocean. The ocean is an incredibly big entity. My little pee is not going to affect much. All of us pee in the ocean, don’t we?

How About the Pool? 

The pool is a different thing entirely. It’s a small, confined space. We are closely connected to the people swimming alongside us. We share the same space. Aside from the fact that peeing in the pool is extraordinarily bad manners. It’s dangerous. All of us who are swimming together in this space expect and hope that we can rely on each other to keep the environment free from toxicity. Chlorine can mix with urine to make trichloramine and cyanogen chloride. In case you were wondering, these are not healthy chemicals.

So, we shouldn’t pee in pools.

We Pee in the Community Pool.

Metaphorically, we do it every day online in Bermuda.

We go online to comment on news stories and while sometimes the comments are insightful observations on the news story, often the comments are toxic. They are marking our territory by what we believe and thus isolating others who don’t believe as we do. The comment section is not a place where we can learn and understand each other’s point of view.

It’s a small reflection of the small community pool of Bermuda where we all swim in the same water, so to speak.

I wish that we didn’t pee in our shared pool.