Poverty rewires the body and mind. It rewrites genetic code. It’s psychologically coercive and self-perpetuating. It’s homeostatic, self-preserving. Neoliberalism cannot succeed without poverty, and so charities and nonprofits are weaponized. Foundations have rewritten social policy in the US for at least a century now. The new Trump tax revision makes charitable donations punitive for anyone non-corporation outside the wealthiest income brackets.

The holidays are times to be grateful and to count our gratitudes. Gratitudes are supposedly a way to rewire the brain, to flex neuroplasticity on multigenerational poverty. Gratitude needs to be liberated from the self-help aisle and turned into a surgical strike guerilla tactic against oppression as much as depression. Let’s keep at it, shall we.

1. New pooch named Nico. What a delight!

2. Hot tea in the frozen North.

3. I have a roof. A heater. Indoor plumbing. A working vehicle. Snow-worthy shoes. Gas money. Breakfast. A warm blanket. An ELECTRIC warm blanket. Functional appliances.

4. I have more than that: A computer, television, multiple Echo/Alexa bots who fill the house with her delightful voice and sense of humor.

5. A nice group of folks at the local UPS office.

6. Hardwood floors that somehow stay warm.

7. A job – for now – unless that genetic code blows it.

8. More colored markers than my childhood self could imagine.

9. A job that pays for my school supplies. Generously. Including color printing.

10. Trees in the back yard.

11. Health insurance.

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