Lately I have been grumpy. Still, there are many things to be thankful for:

1. Both Beorn and I are healthy enough to work. We aren’t disabled or chronically ill.
2. As students we have decent health insurance. That’s more than we often had while we were both working full time.
3. We have a working car.
4. We have a safe and secure place to live, with heat, electricity, and running water.
5. There is no war or major threat of violence in our community.
6. We have access to a world class library including subscriptions to the top journals in most any field.
7. We have enough food.
8. We have shoes and clothing to keep us warm in inclement weather.
9. We each own our own computer and have internet access.
10. We have cell phones.
11. We have clean, disease-free water.

When I taught science to small children one of the most basic lessons was,

“What does an animal need in its habitat in order to live?”

The Answer:
Water
Shelter
Food
Space

Many, if not most people in this world struggle to get the basics. And yes, we, as humans, have more specific needs than that, but those four are pretty darn important.

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