Basic Needs

I don’t get many days off. Working with a near-100% volunteer organization means that I get consulted about everything. Every. Thing.

Most of the time I don’t mind, but it is all-too-easy to get caught up in the minutiae. It’s surprisingly easy to lose your bearings when debating toilet paper purchasing and who’s getting the almonds for the book signing.

Yet I also recognize how absolutely vital the “small things” end up being – that you cared enough to put a bow on the chairs or make a flower arrangement. The tiniest detail can make someone’s entire experience.

An unexpected and near-giddy reminder of this popped into my inbox when a newsletter linked to a video of an explorer in Antarctica. Aleksander Gamme is currently in the midst of a solo expedition and, needless to say, is tired, hungry and probably not a little bit cold.

To make this quest possible, he hid caches for himself along the route months ago in preparation. They include necessary supplies, food, emergency kits, etc. Anything one might need in sub-zero Antarctic temperatures.

In a stroke of genius, he purposefully did not keep notes of what was in each pack once they were placed, in order to surprise himself a bit, and hopefully find some small motivation to hearten him forward.

His exuberant joy at his latest discovery made me laugh, but also reminded me that our basic needs extend beyond food, beyond tools, beyond the things that keep us alive.

We need joy, we need laughter, we need a viking yell at the top of our lungs.

Most of us search, strive, claw toward what we think will fulfill us – but maybe it’s been right there all along. In that bag of cheese doodles.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa


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