When I was first introduced to the Berkey® products, sometime before our son Joshua was born in 2005, I was a skeptic.
How and why would someone pay around $200 (at that time) for some obnoxious-looking big blue plastic water filter system that would take up our limited counter space in our 1,100 square foot home in southern California?
“Yeah, right. I’m fine with my tap water,” I thought. I just couldn’t justify spending almost half of my weekly pay to buy water.
I couldn’t understand why anyone would spend that kind of money on some gravity-fed water purifier that looked like nothing more than those blue 5-gallon Lake Arrowhead or Sparkletts water bottles that were delivered to homes and offices weekly as a subscription-service. It looked like someone’s cheap DIY project to me.
Despite my initial criticism of the Berkey® Light water purification system, something about its message resonated with me. There was an element that seemed familiar. It was reminiscent of a principle of health that my mom had taught me growing up:
Health comes to those who seek it.
I eventually purchased it just to give it a shot. I don’t think I got a discount on it though, LOL.
Did it change my life? Absolutely.
How exactly? Well, 14+ years into using Berkeys, here’s how:
- It opened my eyes as a consumer.
- It taught me that helping others is the secret to success.
- It improved my health, giving me a healthier lifestyle and in turn, improved the health of my family, friends, and countless others.
It opened my eyes as a consumer.
Admittedly, my initial interest in purchasing my first Berkey® was to add it to my earthquake & emergency preps, my “go kit”. I did not open the box and immediately use it when I got home. As I recall, several weeks passed before I would assemble it and begin using it.
Somewhere after beginning to use it and getting accustomed to drinking water without the tap water taste, I began learning about why water treatment facilities add so much chlorine to the water. Then, I discovered public water fluoridation…different topic, different story. BUT, we began using the PF2 Fluoride & Arsenic Reduction Elements with our Black Berkey® Elements.
So, once I began learning about chlorination and why one might re-consider consuming chlorinated water and bathing in it, I learned that as a consumer, I had the power to alter the impact that products have in my life, especially the life of my young family.
Our first child, Joshua, was born in 2005. And, as genuine generation Xers, when my wife discovered she was pregnant with our first, we began looking for ways to optimize her health and that of the freeloading creature growing inside of her. The Berkey Light® was pivotal to all things water for us: cooking, brushing teeth, hydration, our pets’ water, ice cubes, etc. We began searching for additional ways to improve the quality of what we consumed, the products we used, and to share that with the people we love and value in our lives.
Looking back, it’s truly incredible how by simply wanting to improve the taste of our water, we learned to be more intentional and informed consumers. We discovered that the “right companies” value consumer feedback and act on it. We discovered that the collective money that we spend as consumers can radically change the landscape of product availability and design, in local and international markets.
As our family began to grow, so did our circle of friends. Naturally, as our social circle grew, we would invite new friends and family into our home. Many of them would see the Berkey Light® and then ask questions. The range of reactions still intrigues me. Some didn’t care. Some did. It was gratifying to eventually see the lights turn on when friends and family finally asked days, months, and even years later, “We’ve been thinking about getting a Berkey®. How can we get one?”
It taught me helping others is the secret to success.
As I was preparing for what I thought would be my career in medicine, I earned my EMT certification and began working on an ambulance in 2010. As I was working during a 24-hour shift, my good friend and former roommate called me and asked me to join him at some “preparedness expo” in Utah. It was short notice and he was willing to pay me almost as much for spending two days with him than I was making in a week of two 24-hour shifts and one 12-hour.
On the drive back from the expo, ideas were born and he offered me a job. Goodness, as I reflect on that trip, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for that opportunity.
I ended up quitting my job as an EMT and began answering inbound phone calls from home. People were calling to buy Berkey® Water Systems and I was selling them. Boy, was I selling them.
Fast-forward to two years later, I had spoken to thousands of people about their water. I had interacted with hundreds by way of community forums online, answering questions via email, providing guidance and trouble-shooting, correcting misconceptions and myths, confirming conspiracy-theories…just kidding about the conspiracy theories. I can neither deny nor confirm…
Now, having worked directly with the Berkey® line of products for almost ten years, having invented the Black Berkey Primer™, and other accessories and products, I have learned how to help others with their questions, how to empower others to research and effectively communicate their feedback, how to listen before I speak, and how to be of greater help in everything I do. True success is found in the giving of excellent service. You can be paid with money or with peace. The best is when the two are combined.
It has helped me to live a healthier lifestyle and in turn, improved the health of my family, friends, and countless others.
I have since purchased every Berkey® System created and my family loves them. We can taste and smell the smallest amounts of chlorine in water. We can taste the difference of bottled water vs. tap water vs. Berkey® water. There’s no going back to water before Berkey®.
Life isn’t all about water, but water is all about life.
Whether we are cooking, making homemade mango/strawberry drinks, putting ice cubes in our rabbit’s water dispenser, or filling our daughters’ steel water bottles for school, our water is no longer a worry. Oh yeah, the whole Hurricane Harvey too. (I live in Houston, Texas.) Our Berkeys came in handy then.
We look at the ingredients of the food we eat and share with others. We consider the impact our purchases will have on landfills, recycle-ability, and re-use. We live each day grateful for our health and ability to serve others with our abundance. We are grateful to live in a country that affords us the freedom to express divergent thinking.
Most of all, without my friend’s decision to call NMCL and bother the owner to become one of their first authorized dealers and sell on Ebay, I don’t see how I would have had the opportunity to write this to you and to thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank You. Thanks, Jeff. Thanks, Jim.