Video meetings in leopard-print pajamas, happy hours in leopard-print blazers. Chatting by the water cooler, chatting by the well. Muttering atop the castle wall, murmuring in the trenches. Asking mommy why the sky be blue, babbling on the Zoom.

We observe. We notice. We communicate with others, exchanging observations. A vase falls to the ground; later, we pick up the pieces, trying to figure out how it fell. A virus sweeps the planet, and our first defense is perhaps our oldest—not vaccines, not guns, not swords, not love, but

Gestures. Language. Writing. Books. The motherfucking Internet. Information, communication, cooperation.

Today I am thankful for the data we gather from the world around us, the methods by which we exchange what we’ve gathered, and, upon that foundation, our daily-growing knowledge and wisdom.