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Senior Correspondent

As I started writing this there were 7,086,246,922 humans on the planet. That’s 7 billion.  A new one is born in the United States every eight seconds, and one dies every 12 seconds. An international migrant arrives in the U.S. more often than one leaves, resulting in a net migrant gain of one every 44 seconds. All in all the net gain is four new Americans every minute. And all four of them cut in line ahead of me at Starbucks. No savesies in line.

In the time it took me to write this blog to this point and show those four people where the end of the line was, the world population of humans went up to 7,086,247,936. And we’re not even counting cows and chickens and mosquitos. Or corporations — which are people too. If you count them, add four. 

Humans, like wolves, chimps, and hyenas, which they resemble are pack animals. Built into their nature is the need for social contact.  Only writers, Irish monks, and old men in the bathroom are capable of doing without social contact for prolonged periods of time.

But soon, chimps will be friending each other on Facebook.

Google+, Facebook and Twitter provide a sort of pseudo-contact for writers. I don’t know many old men able to express their opinions in only 140 characters. So I don’t really count Twitter. It is unclear why humans need each other. Mountain lionesses, leopard ladies, and praying mantises get along without a mate, once the males have outlived their usefulness.

Praying mantis outliving his usefulness

For humans it might be part of our nature. Our genetic code might drive our quest for friends on Facebook and people in Google circles. Whether it is the teleological evolution of amino acids in our DNA, why we share the last piece of pie, or the fingertip touch of Michaelangelo’s God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, we need to love and be loved.

Poets write about it. Musicians sing about it. Old men sit on bar stools and pontificate about it.

Which, as the population clock winds up to 7,086,280,158, brings me to my point: There are 7 billion humans on the planet today. Only one has been willing to live with me for 44 years. You might say that's character revealing. I say I don't understand love, but I'm grateful for it.

Don't try to understand it: 
Don't you need somebody to love?
Don't you want somebody to love?
You'd better find somebody to love.

Thank you to the one in 7 billion. I love you too.

And thank you for reading. See you again?

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