After a day of hiking and canoeing, my husband and I sit by the campfire awhile. Then, when cold and fatigue get the best of me, I crawl into the tent. Zipping up my sleeping bag, I review what’s important.
It’s not the same checklist that I have at home when I often fall asleep reviewing what work assignments await me the following day or what’s in the refrigerator for supper. No, my sleeping bag list is much more basic and carefully prioritized.
Am I well? Am I safe? Warm? Dry? Fed? Because if I’m not well, I won’t even care whether I’m safe and if I’m not safe, I won’t care whether I’m warm and dry. And even food comes after health and safety.
And if I am well, safe, warm, dry, fed, I am deeply grateful. Alongside these basics, I’m not very concerned about whether I’m loved, recognized, or fulfilling my purpose in life. It’s a good reminder, this process, that if basic needs aren’t met, nothing else matters very much.
A reminder that many in our community and the world do not have basic needs met. And when I’m tempted to judge or assume or prescribe—I’m probably wrong. And probably not doing enough to change it.