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Ask HN: What are you thankful for?
304 points by wallflower on Nov 22, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 157 comments
Thanks dang and team for taking care of the HN community!

Many years ago, I stumbled upon HN. I just lurked. Then one day I posted a comment.

I am thankful for HN because many years ago it provided a community for someone who was desperately seeking social interaction during my very boring corporate job workday. It was my water cooler. It still is even though as it has grown in popularity, it is almost like a meme for some people to say 'Don't read HN' because they maybe read one divisive thread once or only read divisive threads and thus see it as a monoculture...

1. I can go into a grocery store and buy whatever I want without once thinking about the price of something or the total bill. It's an incredible privilege - one that I hadn't really thought about much until recently - but now I can't stop thinking how thankful I am for it.

2. I can go home to my parent's house whenever I want and I'm lucky to have supportive, loving parents and an extended family that openly supports me when I need it. We have our problems, but at the end of the day - I have a place to stay and food to eat even in my darkest moments.

3. A promising career in Silicon Valley and a great manager with whom I share a deep sense of mutual respect and friendship with. I know how rare this is, and because of that - I'm thankful.

A lot of work went into making this happen from a lot of different people over the years...so I'm actually really deeply thankful because this could have played out very differently.

Growing up, my family was lower-middle class, immigrant, and moved around _a lot_ because of instability in finances and my father's job was so uncertain that it could be axed on short notice among other reasons. I was a child for the early parts of the journey so only my parents can speak to the brutal pain of trying to start over in a brand new country that barely accepted them for who they are along with the burden of raising their first child. Not only that, but they started over with few resources - maybe the clothes on their back, a couple hundred bucks in their pocket and a few phone numbers to call if they were really in trouble. They/We did not have it easy by any stretch of the imagination and my parents themselves come from relative poverty where things like access to food, electricity, clean water and education was a real issue. We've come a long way and I'm both proud and thankful for that.

This only scratches the surface of the immigrant experience in America but I think it's highly relevant, especially during Thanksgiving and all the history imbued in the holiday.

I would suggest adding something to your first one: you can successfully eat whatever you purchase.

I have celiac and serious food allergies, as well as an esophageal disorder. I also can’t digest milk or eggs properly. When I go to the grocery store, I walk around pretty much laughing to myself about how I literally cannot eat almost anything there. For Thanksgiving, I am having plain beef roast in a blender (well, sea salt) and specific potato chips. And cider - I mean, it’s not all bad.

It’s easy to take health for granted, but it’s amazing how much it can screw up your life when one part of your body isn’t working.

I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. I am recovering from a similar situation in which my heath was so compromised that I struggled to digest and assimilate practically whatever I ate. I can relate to how alienating and debilitating it can be to have chronic illness consume most of your thinking and how severely it can impact all areas of your life. It is so easy to take our health and bodies for granted. I try imbue every moment with this awareness and cultivate gratitude for everything I have. I hope you're able to find support and strength as you manage your condition.

I have a similar story to you. My parents came from Vietnam with nothing, knowing no English, and had to eat from trash at the beginning of their journey. Despite the difficulties and with a lot of help from some generous people, I am now financial secure, have familial support, and have a sense of belongingness/purpose with a great team at work. As the first in my family to graduate college (and even high school), there's really not a day where I don't feel happy and grateful that I am where I am today. It's that thankfulness that allows me to shrug off any bad things that happen.

This post resonated with me.

I'm in my mid-20s and just a few years ago I would memorize grocery prices and track the value of the items I had in my shopping cart. Chicken breast at $2.99 per pound compared to beef flank at $8.99 per pound...I guess I'm eating chicken. Yellow onions for 79 cents each...since the store isn't charging by the pound, I'll dig through the onions and find the largest one.

These days I can spend the occasional $15 on a cocktail or $40 on a meal without thinking twice. I believe growing up in a lower income family gives me a greater appreciation for what I have now. Happy Thanksgiving!

Edit: Most importantly, I'm grateful for my (immigrant) parents' hard work and the sacrifices they made to provide me with the opportunities I have today.

I feel exactly the same way. For most of my life, I had to worry about what food cost and carefully manage what I put in the cart. Now I don't have to, and there is a feeling of amazement about that every time. I don't think I'll ever lose that feeling, and I hope I don't.

In my case the immigrants were grandparents, and what they went through is impossible for me to imagine.

> 1. I can go into a grocery store and buy whatever I want without once thinking about the price of something or the total bill. It's an incredible privilege - one that I hadn't really thought about much until recently - but now I can't stop thinking how thankful I am for it.

I was thinking about this earlier in the week. I can remember when I couldn't do this. I'd have to keep a running total of what I put in the basket/cart. I was living pay check to pay check. I had debt. Now, with my mortgage as my only debt, things are so much better.

I wish I knew, years ago, what I know now. I'm thankful I've finally figured (some of) it out.

re #1, if you're ever at an ATM, look at the receipts in the trash. You'll see receipts with balances under $20. It's very eye-opening.

I used to work for a bankruptcy attorney, you have no idea. Everyone is drowning.

PSA: Evaluate your spending habits and make sure you have an emergency fund.

Growing up, I used to disagree with how my parents used to think about things, and I also used to call them out (maybe I kept that in my heart mostly out of respect) whenever they did something wrong. That was because I never perhaps knew how some parents were?

Because as I grew, went to high-school and then at job, I saw people who had an abusive father, a drug-addict sibling, or a controlling mother. And now, I realise how difficult it must have been for my parents to show us the best version of themselves e.g. my mother cooks food, takes care of us and my father worked in Libya for 30 years as a software engineer away from us only to supply us financially. It must never have been easy.

I'm not saying they're perfect, God no one is. But the fact that I can see at my parents as a moral compass for myself whenever I get stuck helps me a lot. Some of you who read might not be religious but I'm thankful that my parents gave us the right knowledge of religion and not just giving knowledge but telling us about the 'why'.

My father has told me two things his entire life: 1. do your best effort at opportunities (I don't mind if you fail as long as you work hard) 2. don't cheat your way to success

So, yeah, I'm sorry if this seems irrelevant but just wanted to share my side of the story about why I'm thankful.

yeah man. I am a parent right now and I can't even think of leaving my kids to work in another country full time w/o my family.

I'm thankful for getting cured of my chronic back pain of 10+ years just because of one HN comment (1). I was at a point in my life where my whole life used to revolve around my pain but thanks to this one comment I was cured of this terrible misery in just less than a month. So thank you HN and thank you @ceras for making my life so much better.

P.S I'm happy to say that propogating that knowledge had that exact same effect for another HNer who was also suffering from the same fate (actually he was contemplating suicide by his own comment and he too was healed like me(2).

(1) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17899799

(2) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18151061

Very interesting. For about the past 2 years, I've been suffering from mysterious symptoms that seem to have no physical origin. My doctors have suggested that it's "in my head" or "stress related illness" and I'm completely open to that idea (in fact I welcome it). However, the biggest problem I've had is, "Where the heck do I go from there?" If it's all in my head, how do I get it out of my head?

I'm definitely going to give this book a read. I am thankful for your suggestion :-)

P.S. I hesitate to mention this, but my wife belongs to some weird religious group here in Japan. They believe in spiritual healing. For this kind of problem it seems really ideal. Unfortunately for me, it's completely ineffective because I just can't take it seriously. She's always frustrated because she can't heal my problems, even though I should be an ideal candidate. Going through the problems I've had has completely changed my attitude toward the potential benefits so called spiritual things. On the one hand I have doctors saying, "It's all in your head, so you can't be cured" and on the other I get "It's all in your head, so praise the divine being and all will be cured". It would be tempting if I could ever stomach that kind of thing.

Sarno actually recommends going to a psychologist and talking about your emotions as his number one prescription.

But you could try to just "do it yourself" by learning to recognize and give yourself permission to actually feel your emotions. Ask yourself if you are angry, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, afraid, anxious, hurt, or upset in any way. Because it is these kind of "negative" emotions are the ones that tend to manifest themselves as pain in your body if you ignore them for too long.

Then let yourself just feel that emotion for a while. Really just sit with the emotion and don't get distracted by thoughts. Just feel it. And then after you are sure you have felt it as strong as you can feel it, then you try to think about what might be causing it. Really articulate it well to yourself in great detail. What exactly happened at the moment that the emotion started, who was there, what did they they do and what did you do? And then try to name the emotion. Put it into words what it is you are feeling. And then the last step is to ask yourself what you have learned from this situation. If you could do anything differently or see things differently when a similar situation happens in the future.

> My doctors have suggested that it's "in my head" or "stress related illness" and I'm completely open to that idea

I think the biggest misconception is that when doctors tell you that it's all in your head. The pain is real, as real as the pain you get during a leg cramp and it's caused by the ANS (autonomic nervous system) because of a mild oxygen deprivation (about 5%).

It is harmless and completely reversible but that does not mean it's not there. It's very real. This is a very important thing to understand explained in the book.

I recommend reading what Mark Twain’s experiences with Christian Science was. (Which was that everything is imaginary?)


Well, I think his book very clearly spells out the other problems with those kinds of organisations. :-) Definitely not my thing, but I have a more nuanced view of things these days.

Long-term outcomes with many modern medicines are negative compared to that of a placebo.

I am so thankful that I came across a comment about Sarno's book here on hn! I had tried sooooo many things. I was frequenly getting completely locked up in my back - it was all just a tight ball of pain. Then Sarno told me it was because I was manifesting repressed emotions in my body, and b-i-n-g-o. As soon as I started asking myself "What's bothering me?", "What am I upset about", and gave myself time and permission to actual feel those emotions, I could feel the knot melt away.

Sarno's book should be added to those lists of best programming books. Along with "Say Good Night to Insomnia".

Back pain + insomnia both cured within days of reading each of these. Thankfully I only suffered a few weeks of each before getting my hands on these books.

I have to say, every time I come across this book, it seems like bullshit not backed by any science at all and yet it gets rave reviews on HN. As a one-time thing, I can put it off towards some propaganda campaign ala Tim Ferris / The four hour body but this is a pattern. Don't know what to make of it really.

You are not alone. This might be the 3rd or 4th time I am seeing this and thinking the same.

Well, perhaps it's time to put some science behind it and do some RCTs ...

I've noticed the same pattern. There must be something to it.

Indeed, the first I heard of it was from Y Combinator's own Aaron Iba: http://aaroniba.net/how-i-cured-my-rsi-pain

I think the raving is due to four factors:

- It sets off every rational person's bullshit detector.

- It works anyway.

- The effort required is minimal (just reading the book is enough for many people).

- The payoff is life-changing.

When you experience all this first-hand (as I did), it's hard to not become an evangelist. It has no business working, and it yet it does. In this community, I think we have a strong desire to share bewildering things like that with each other.

I'm thankful for my parents. Growing up, I thought that my parents were needlessly strict and uncool and that all my friends had it better than me. Only once I was old enough to look at other parents from an adult perspective did I realize how...well, competent my own parents had been, compared to most. Turns out there are a lot of ways to screw up parenting. Many of my friends' parents divorced, others just quietly resented each other; some were too permissive, others were "helicopters;" some were too distant, others tried to be their kid's best friend; and of course, some were outright abusive. The older I get, the clearer it is to me that these parents were just "older teenagers," not true adults. In that regard, my parents really had their shit together (and still do), and I benefited from that enormously. Thanks mom and dad.

Did you get to tell them that?

I have expressed it to them a few times now, yes. :)

I am thankful for Hacker News. Never before have I come across a community that is as insightful, friendly, and helpful. Thank you, everyone, for making Hacker News the place it is today.

Agreed, and they have very strict modding to thank for it. Sometimes I think it's too strict, but you can't argue with the results.

HN modding is certainly the driving force in maintaining civil discourse on the site.

In my more out there moments I imagine the internet moving more towards this model. Lots of interesting places, owned by deeply involved individuals who enforce courtesy and truth telling. Personally I love to read opinions that are different from mine, as long as the two points above are met.

I’d like to personally call out u/dang, HN’s omnipresent moderator. Keep up the amazing work!

1. Just being alive, for starters. Just a hair over four years ago I had a heart attack[1] and very easily could have died.

2. My parents, and friends and family. Guess that one is so obvious as to not really need to be said, but just to be complete.

3. All the amazing knowledge that's available, mostly for free, on the Internet. Youtube, videolectures.net, arxiv.org, khan academy, HN, Wikipedia, sci-hub, ligben, and so many other great resources for learning.

4. Open source and all the various OSS contributors out there.

5. Coffee, key-lime pie, and cheesecake.

6. Thai food.

7. Heavy metal. Especially the first "wave" of bands that sucked me in all those years ago: Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, AC/DC, Quiet Riot, etc.

8. All of my brothers and sisters in the fire-service, all over the world, who are out there putting their lives on the line to protect others. I'm not active with a fire department these days, but it's a brotherhood you never really quit.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8550315

Coming on two years ago, I celebrated New Years Eve in the amazingly beautiful beach town of Robertsport, Liberia. I never used to do those vows, but at this time I decided I wanted to be more grateful. So I vowed to be more grateful. This English bloke was there with me, and he reminded me that if I just vowed it like that, I would soon forget it. I had to somehow make it my habit.

So I decided every morning when I put on my necklace I would remind myself to be grateful for something this day. And I have, every single day! Usually, I will be grateful that I am healthy, that I have a wife who cares about, and for, me, family members, some good friends, a job and good food every day.

Today, I am grateful to George, the Englishman, who helped me start this habit. It is very good to be grateful.

I am so thankful that I know the meaning of my human life. I have a human spirit, which I can exercise to contact God. I don't know how I would live without this. All of the money and all of the experiences on earth are temporary, and in the end meaningless. Anything temporary compared to eternity is meaningless. Eternity is not only before us in time, but God has put eternity in our heart, and only God can fill that gap. I'm so thankful that my God-shaped gap is filled. Not preaching, just genuinely thankful!

Eternity is now.

Yep, and it won't end.

Wikipedia. So often I get curious about something and it's documented in detail, with hyperlinks to related concepts. What would have taken an afternoon at the library in the 90s I can get in a 20 minute Wikpedia binge.

I am thankful that something distracted me in the few seconds it took me to start making a left turn, and slowed me down enough that the semi that ran the red light missed my car by a couple of feet instead of ripping the car apart and killing me Monday afternoon. I'm trying not to be cliche about it, but my priorities are a bit clearer now.

I’m thankful for automotive safety that saved my daughter’s life when she ran into a traffic light pole at 60MPH yesterday. I’m replying to your comment because her accident was caused by somebody turning left a second or two too early.

My girl was driving a Kia Soul. It’s not an expensive car, but it’s still safe enough that she and her passenger will only experience a week or two of soreness. If I had the same accident in my first car, a 77 Corolla,I would probably have died.

With regards to HN: I'm thankful for HN being an example where the comments are often really insightful, useful and interesting. There are so many places on the internet where the comment sections are cesspools. HN makes an effort to be different and it's working.

On a more personal level: I'm thankful for having had the opportunities in life to achieve all my goals. For being born in a safe and stable country with great healthcare (could have been dead a couple of times now) and other social securities. For being married to a great wife who makes me happy and who makes marriage seem almost effortless. And most of all I'm thankful for my kids. They truly made my life complete.

Cateract surgery.

I watched myself slowly going blind over several months. But at the end of it, whenever I chose, I could say, "That's enough - time for surgery" instead of just being blind for the rest of my life.

Seeing is really cool, people. It's a really major deal. Once you think about what it means to not have it, you really value having it.

Walking is a big deal, too. I'm thankful that my boss left that dolly where it could just barely catch the edge of that falling box with 600 pounds of steel in it, so that it didn't absolutely crush my foot. (It tore through the cardboard, slowly, so it landed on my foot as a slowly increasing load instead of as a sudden jolt. That was plenty painful enough, but it didn't crush all the bones in the arch of my foot.)

Walking, again - that falling 30 feet off a cliff didn't cripple me or kill me.00

I typed out a long comment but it is not yet the time to say so much.

I am starting to see paths unfold that I would not have thought possible ten years ago when I was first introduced to HN by some fellow members of a student union I was in.

These past ten years of my life have been a mixture of a lot of things. Failures, despair, depression, but also successes, personal growth and learning.

For now I just want to say that spending a lot of time on HN is a double-edged sword, and I've seen both sides - it can be a time sink, as it has been for me at times, unhealthy even, but it is also an amazing place, and one that I am so, so happy that I was told of and that I decided to stick around on.

And in case it wasn't abundantly clear - these paths that seem to be unfolding are in very very large part thanks to knowledge and awareness that I have gained from the posts and discussions that I read on HN and spent my time on.

I grew up in poverty. As a kid, I had potato chips for breakfast if I ate at all and remember being hungry most mornings at school.

I just got my second promotion at a FAANG in three years. I have great work life balance. I can afford to buy food and more. I invest and max out my 401k and my older sibling is now in her final year of her residency and my younger sibling is almost done with bachelors. My spouse loves me. I was very sick this thanksgiving and it was nice to be taken care of. I still have anxiety and confidence issues, and I’m terribly afraid of risk... but it’s gotten substantially better than a few years ago.

I'm thankful for my city. I finally moved to Chicago from from rural Indiana and I feel like I've finally found where I belong.

I'm thankful for my mental health therapist who has helped me greatly in dealing with relationship issues and mental health problems in general.

I'm thankful for my business coach, who got me out of a rut in my freelance career and introduced me to a whole new world of effectiveness.

I'm thankful for a comment a friend made the other day. He knew me about 5 years ago when I was playing around with livestreaming on Twitch.tv. Yesterday he and I were video calling and he commented that "you've really become a lot more poised and confident in front of the camera and your speech is a lot smoother." I've wondered if I really am making progress on social anxiety and that was really encouraging.

Last Sunday, I dropped my wallet on the ground. By Monday, I was starting to look into cancelling credit and debit cards, and what I'd do without a driver's license... and then it turned out a "Mr. Diaz" who drives a garbage truck found it, called the numbers he saw in it, and established contact with me. I got it back in time for work; nothing was missing, and he refused to even take money when I offered it to him.

It's a very nice data point.

I'm thankful I don't have to walk hours every day to collect dirty water just to survive.

I'm thankful I have the opportunity to help solve the problem.


I am thankful for my new job. After graduating, I worked at a defense contractor for over a year and got tasked with basically nothing and had no one care about results, staying current, or learning, and I felt it. They kept saying things would change when I got my security clearance, but as I talked to more and people, I realized that it wouldn't be enough of a change, so I switched industries. In my new role, I am learning a ton (because they decided to hire me even though I didn't have the knowledge they originally wanted) and I am loving it. My team is super helpful and I'm reminded why I first enjoyed programming and problem solving.

That's great! It feels so good to be doing something you want to do.

Python. It changed my life significantly. I have a job I love, I earn good money. Not sure I could have reached what I did under a couple of years with other languages, because Python let me focus on learning all kind of things beside it, because it was fairly easy to pick up.

Today, a random person (actually two people) from some random country saved my career and financial security. I'm thankful for that.

would be curious to hear more details of this story haha

Edit: I hope you had the chance to see the reason. I'm deleting the explanation to keep cyberstalkers away.

While im curious about your story im even more curious about why and how it could somehow be abused by cyberstalkers?

HR people can be creepy sometimes. I mentioned some private details about my contacts.

I'm thankful for Walter Bright and Andrei Alexanderscu, the authors of the D programming language. Although I found the language late in 2015, it showed me a new way to think about programming. I just hope D language foundation gets some corporate backing to break the inertia and exceed the critical mass.

Linux and f/oss, every single day. I think certain personalities are drawn to certain tools, languages, philosophies and I don't think technology today would be nearly as interesting if it were dominated by Windows. Or Apple, or IBM. We've carved a niche out for ourselves and we've done it so well, it's important we realise that and cultivate it.

I'm thankful that I love programming even after 2 decades, and that I'm very well paid for it. And I still come into work every day and love the challenges. There was a time where I was burnt out and needed to take a year off, but thankfully since then I've been able to center myself and my expectations and I've been thankful every day since.

What did you do in that year off?

I'm feeling like I'm pretty close to a burn out and I'm not sure how to deal with it.

I'm thankful for all the extremely improbable things that had to happen for me to have the experience I'm having.

I am thankful

- To have been born to loving, educated parents

-To live in a time and place with economic and social liberty

- To have a loving and growing group of friends and family around the world who live interesting and inspiring lives

-To live in a time where so many of us can travel at the speed of sound and communicate at the speed of light

-To be able to ask any question, purchase any common object, or want to see any loved one face-to-face, and have my wish fulfilled by a vast global network of machines that do our bidding

-For the millions of seekers, of wise men and women, who created wonders from the energy of the sun and the materials of the Earth, and showed us the way through the darkness

-That after 1000 trillion creatures and eons of failed attempts, one particular hairless ape on one particular wet rock evolved a 3 pound mass of flesh into the most sophisticated computational apparatus in the universe

- That it feels like anything at all to be thinking meat.

I'm grateful for the fact that I have an incredibly supportive group of friends and family.

In the off chance that I lost my job or something bad happened to me, I know that there's always a couch out there I can crash on. And if it all goes wrong, I can fly back to my hometown and know that there's a bed waiting for me at my parents' house.

And on the other hand, I'm sure that a lot of my friends are grateful for me offering the same. I've had a lot of mates crashing on my couch, I've made it clear that my door is always open and there's always something to eat and drink in my house if they need it. It's the least I can do to help, $5 of food isn't much to me, but can be a lot to others.

I have the privilege of being one of the few people in my group of friends who has a stable job that pays well. So I guess I'm fortunate for that, I'm fortunate that I don't have a substance abuse problem or debilitating mental health issues.

Growing up, my family relied on government aid to buy food. My father had a stroke when I was in 6th grade, and despite being able to recover, my mother realized that she would be unable to support my siblings and I without him. I am the second oldest of 6 kids, so I was old enough to kinda understand the stakes facing my family.

My mother then went back to college to earn a degree in nursing. She pushed herself harder than I think a human should need to go to ensure my sisters and I had a stable platform upon which to launch our lives.

I then received an incredible need-based scholarship to university and this was hands down the best thing that has ever happened to me. My mind was expanded farther than I thought possible by the people I met, the culture of embracing and admiring the results of dedication and hard work, and the realization that I have agency to change my circumstances. I realized my life could be more impactful than I ever dared to dream as kid in my small, rural town.

I studied Chinese and CS, and stumbled into opportunity after opportunity that pushed me to grow as a citizen of the world and acquire skills that allow me to take part in it.

I am now working on (what is to me) one of the most interesting problems that humankind is attempting to tackle. I am learning incredible lessons about how intelligent people can make progress in an arena of extremely high uncertainty. I am learning what processes lead to innovation and technological advancement. I am surrounded by people from every corner of the Earth from a diverse array of milieus.

I am incredibly grateful for these opportunities to learn, adapt, and (hopefully) become an agent of change for those that had challenging starts in life. I know there are many others that were just as “deserving” of the chances I received, but for a myriad of reasons were never graced by the blind luck I was.

For these reasons and more, I am thankful.

Wow great story! Do you mind expanding on the problem you are trying to tackle?

Finally getting a job as a Developer! I've been at it for the last 4 years, and couldn't have done it without support from my wife and family.

All the people who develop OSS in their free time. Text editors, plugins, kernels, package managers, compilers, the list goes on in any ecosystem. The number of these projects I interact with knowingly and unknowingly on a daily basis is ridiculous and represents the cumulative effort of many. My day job is all the better for it, so I take my hat off to those awesome folk.

Thanks for all the hard fought PRs, features, and optimizations that make our lives as developers what they are today.

I'm thankful for the furry community. I was alone, extremely confused about gender and sexuality, and really not sure I was going to make it another month way back in 2013 before stumbling on some furry art. Going down that rabbit hole helped me find acceptance, affirmation, confidence, and new hobbies I never considered before. A furry podcast (Furcast/Friday Night Tech) set me on the path to making music, and that's been a huge boost to my life.

I'm thankful I got lucky.

I was born in a prosperous country at a good time. I had parents who were well intentioned and reasonably smart. I have an older sister and got to see and avoid some of her mistakes.

Some of the work that I did early on is not too impressive now, but was sufficiently impressive at the time that I never had to look for work.

Capitalism appears to be rewarding people like me. I think there are many people who come from cultures that are resistant to learning better ways to do things. As such, they stagnate, while people who are able to separate the wheat from the chaff on the internet learn ways to be efficient that create ever widening gulfs between themselves and the dig-in-their-heels-and-never-admit-room-for-improvement crowd.

My wife. I was going to leave work recently and have a go at growing my sideline. I decided to stay at work. My wife was 100% behind me whatever I chose which meant a lot.

The EU. I can study in the Netherlands with world-class education in English and get free healthcare.

I'm thankful that the hard times I went through in my personal life from mid-2017 until mid-2018. Now, in a new relationship, new job, in a new city, with the same family, same friends, same interests, same HN. I'm nowhere where I thought I'd be, yet i'm happy, and it's a reminder that life can turn on a dime.

The maturity and quality of discussions on HN. It's not perfect, but far better than many other places online.

I'm thankful for this website.

As a middle-aged developer in a fly-over state,this site has helped me to stay current for years. I can't think of a single other site that has impacted my career even half as much.

I’m thankful for an AQI below 50.

Little things we come to appreciate when we lose even temporarily.

Happy thanksgiving.

Being alive in this time.

The rich have more things than ever before. The middle class live better than the very richest used to. Even the poor have things that were beyond the reach of the very rich just a short while ago.

Diseases have been conquered. Knowledge is freely available and easily accessed. Poor nations are advancing, rich nations are prosperous.

People have ways of connecting with other people, travelling and communicating that were never before possible.

It's a GREAT time to be alive.

My country, really.

I was born in one of the richest and progressive countries in the world and honestly it has given me so much. I never really thought about it until I loved abroad for a bit and met people from other countries.

I'm not a kid who was always good at school. Actually, I didn't do jack shit until I was 23. I tried 3 different uni's, did high school at the middle level etc.. And at the end of it the government still offered to pay for my year long programming course.

Of course I've always been good with computers but I never studied it properly. I got a good job and life now because even after 3 failed attempts I was still supported and I'm more than happy to pay it forward.

And also my loving parents who have never been mad with me and always supported me even through my games-way-too-much high school period and other weird quirks I had to overcome.

Having all my extremities working perfectly, no diseases or major health issues.

Being born in a country with decent standards of living (Chile). Yeah, it's not as good as the US or Switzerland, but it's much better than every other latinamerican country, and better than most of the world.

Having access to the Internet, you guys understand better than anyone else why it's such a privilege.

Speaking English. I learned as a teenager playing videogames (Morrowind <3) and browsing sites like reddit. Now I don't have to worry about it like everyone else around me, I already know it.

Curiosity. I always want to understand how things work, in fact, it's what gives meaning to my life: Understading and applying the knowledge to create cool things.

That I, unlike most of my biological ancestors, can expect a death that doesn't involve being eaten alive. Better yet, I was born at a time when my species had invented modern dentistry, and I'm able to afford it. Everything else is just gravy.

I'm thankful for everything I've learned in the past 5 years while living in Seattle. I learned a lot about who I am, what I really value, and how I want to go forward and build my life with the people I care about. There was a lot of disillusionment involved, but it was necessary for growth.

I'm likewise thankful I will soon return to a place where I feel totally at home, and that I will be returning there without most of the baggage that made me want to leave. I'm thankful that my friends and family are patient with me, and though I may try their patience or be frustrating sometimes, ultimately, it doesn't change our core love and affection for one another.

Just asked for a large raise, and while I don't yet know the outcome, I'm thankful that they seem to be taking it seriously.

(Outcome is unknown because email is down. I guess the IT guy seized the opportunity presented by the holiday for some maintenance!)

Kudos to that guy!

I am thankful that after about 6+ years, I found a solution to my leg issue where I could not stand for more than few mins. It actually turned out to be lack of proper sleep which was resolved using sleeping medication. Thank you!

My family, my kids, my skills and the countless opportunities to apply them.

70+ years without major wars in Europe. The people that sacrificed their lives to make that happen.

My first stock option plan, which allowed me to live debt-free (excluding mortgage).

My health.

Open source.

You know, I thought of this one too, even though it seemed to "HN-y." But it really is something that almost demands gratitude---thousands (probably more like millions) of people have slaved away at making software work (and I know what that can be like), and I get to use the fruits of their labors. It's humbling.

This. I did opensource almost a decade ago as a learning exercise. I am thankful for it to have it as a learning platform while giving something back.

I am also thankful for it on the receiving end. The world is so much better because of it

Truly, there is a lot to be thankful in that area. Specially in regards to open source developers

Free software.

I didn't realize until recently how much I took clean air for granted, but today I am thankful for it.

Grateful that I can look back on my time on this planet and see a series of connected ‘coincidences’ that are leading to a future better than I can even imagine. The constituents of every little thing I enjoy in my everyday life were carefully produced by Nature over billions of years and were fashioned into useful or joyful things by other human beings. People no different from you or me in many respects.

Grateful to be an Indian-American and to be alive in 2018 AD instead of any other time in history. My cultural identity is rooted in my family tree that found a way to make it to the Land of Opportunity before I was born, the Natives who roamed these lands for millennia, and the pioneering ethos of America that established the National Park Service. Throughout my twenties, I’ve been fortunate to experience some of what was described in the Vedas, some sacred ceremonies of the Natives, and to be pursuing my version of the American Dream.

Grateful to have experienced the heaviness of the seafloor and the euphoria of the summit. These experiences have made it possible for me to empathically relate to nearly everyone I meet, even people who may not like me or agree with me. It puts the biggest smile on my face to be able to See the unity in the diversity, to Hear the order in the chaos, to Feel the perfection in the paradox. That I, too, can contribute to this collective creation we call ‘civilization’ if I can continue to cultivate the courage and compassion to overcome these mountains before me and within me.

Thanks for reading, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! :)

- My parents, for always being so articulative in every important sphere (education, health, finance, relationships)

- My wife, for placing the faith in my gut instinct and guiding it with her solid planning skills

- Common Lisp

- HN

The above 4 have all combined forces in ways that I cannot appreciate enough but I know have been crucial in giving me a happy and peaceful work and personal life.

I with my wife are doing our bit to give back whatever good we have received. Thank you.

I am thankful for the same thing I am thankful for everyday, air in my lungs and a belly full of food. I found out a long time ago that is all it takes to make me happy.

Thankful for my physical and mental health, which is all too easy to take for granted.

Most mornings that I wake up, I am thankful. I make an effort to be mindful of my continued existence. I take a breath, realise I'm still alive, and acknowledge that today I have another opportunity to do better, be better, make amends, change what I can. Very often the mindfulness only lasts for 15 minutes and I do none of those things. But I'm thankful that every day, I get another chance.

Separation of church and state.

Out of curiosity, which country are you from where this is followed?

That I get off work in 10 minutes and can go home and have whatever leftovers exist after working my 13th Thanksgiving in a row for shit pay.

Thank the fridge for holding the leftovers for you in an edible state.

Good health. Seriously. The one thing that the invincible young tech-crowd has to lose once to truly appreciate. Its close to everything.

Grateful for the money I made within the last 10 years. I was aggressively trying to get to that point years ago and now here I am. Guess what, I haven't even spent a penny of that money, turns out I'm a minimalist. All I need is the drive to do things. I am simply grateful for that drive. Money made me realized that I don't need money.

I'm thankful I got out of technology. The money is worse (so far), but everything else is much better for me.

Haha, this is an easy one.

I am thankful that I can walk. I walk slowly and with a limp, but I walk a moderate amount of distance without pain to walk errands.

It is a leg injury that left me in constant pain and even in more pain on weight bearing. It took two surgeries to get me back on feet and I lost two years to the suffering.

A good job as a software engineer that pays me generously enough to meet all my basic needs and enough leftover to feel a level of security and help out my family when they need it. Far too many people in the world have to live without financial security and I'm thankful that I have it.

My team at work. We are racing to an important deadline. Everyone is working well together. Its just fun.

Thank you for the software. Thank you for the hardware. Thank you for the Internet. Thank you for the Telecomms. Thank you for the Electricity Supply. Thank you for the Power Stations. Thank you for the Oil, Gas and Renewables. And thank you for the coffee mug my kids gave me.

I'm thankful to my two primary teachers for their support. One of them is not with us on this earth and second, I don't know where she is.

but, when I think about my life back in the past how it was, I always think about them as how they are supportive to me. Otherwise, there was no way for me to study engineering as my parents already planned to give 12th standard education and then to involve in our small family business. But because of them, I came up with a bright student and my parent allow me to study further. I'm also thankful to my family. But as of now, I'm thinking about my fav. teachers.

I'm thankful that the price of gasoline has dropped down to about $2 in much of the USA, in some cases even below. Tulsa is getting it for $1.90 now. It all feels like I'm seeing prices from the prior century.

Why is this so important to you? I, living in Europe and not owning a car, would be happy about higher gas prices (they are way higher in Europe than in the US already). Because I hope this would help to reduce CO2 emissions.

Well, my van gets 11 MPG. I need this for a large family. (still fuel efficient due to number of people)

BTW, some conversions for you: My van needs about 21.38 liters per 100 km. The fuel price is about 0.46 Euro/L, in some cases as low as 0.44 Euro/L.

Low fuel cost is hugely important for the economy. High prices create a recession or depression. Fuel affects everything, and recently the price of oil dropped by 25%. Farm goods are affected by tractor fuel prices. Most plastic comes from oil. Our trains mostly run on diesel, so this can affect ticket prices. Normal planes require jet fuel, which is more of the same. Both exports and imports need bunker fuel for ships. Oil is even used to make roads and steel.

So the prices show up everywhere. You might not personally buy any fuel, but the cost of it is in the price of everything you buy.

I guess I can add: I'm thankful that I don't have to depend on non-redundant rail and unionized government workers for my transportation needs.

11 MPG ??? How old is your van ?

It's the 2011 model year. It's a real van, with 15 seats, so 11 MPG is pretty good.

The engine: 5.4 L (330 cu in) SOHC 2V V8

It looks like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ford_E-Series_wagon.jpg

Oh, also: I'm thankful I got a chance to buy a 15-passenger van before they were all legislated out of production. I'm thankful mine hasn't failed yet.

I personally prefer the diesel models, they are more reliable. I've heard horror stories about the gasoline-powered E-series and Chevy Express models.

I wasn't aware they're no longer in production? I just passed on a 2019 Chevy Express 15 passenger (see above). Also, loads of companies buy the base models from Ford and Chevy then outfit them with up to 15 seats and other amenities for use as passenger transport vans.

Oh maybe. Dodge ended production in June 2002. From the 2015 model year on, Ford won't do a passenger configuration. I thought the Chevy one was the Astro, which is discontinued.

So yes, the 2019 Chevy Express 15 passenger van is at least theoretically available. The dealer locator can't find such a vehicle within 250 miles of me, which includes almost the entire state of Florida.

It's unsurprising, because that would be a $250,000 liability for the seller if any subsequent buyer were to use the van for transporting school or daycare children. Nobody is crazy enough to sell these vans new in Florida.

The liability can be avoided by leasing the van and then selling it used. Sure enough, used vans are available. They are white (or rarely black) with gasoline engines and cloth seats. They are all the 2017 model (coming off 2-year leases) with about 40,000 miles of usage.

I dislike Chevy/GMC/Dodge/Chrysler vehicle controls, particularly the parking brake and the windshield wiper controls. Ford engines seem to work fine, gasoline included. I consider the Ford transmissions to be consumable parts like brake rotors, although so far mine is doing fine. The Chevy Express diesel engine is weak compared to the better gasoline engine, even for torque.

Well, thank you for the info. So now: I'm thankful that these vehicles haven't gone entirely extinct.

Oh, your comment makes me think that this might be a regional thing. Here in Illinois we have a special vehicle licensing program where non-commercial drivers (i.e. coaches, parents, teachers) may bus students (up to the 15-passenger limit) in these vans if the van is inspected at special safety inspection facilities every 6 months and displays that sticker on the windshield, so they're extremely popular with churches and small schools.

I wonder how that squares with federal law.

Federal law requires that states take measures to prevent such usage. Florida did what I explained. An alternative might be to make the usage a criminal offense, or to impose a fine on the driver, or to destroy any vehicle used for that purpose.

I don't see how Illinois can do as you say and still have federal highway funding.

This all came into being after lots of roll-over accidents made the news. I'd much rather the legislation mandate a better suspension and a better center of gravity, or simply some performance criterion to be tested.

They're recognized under NHTSA's MFSAB classification, which IDOT allowed (Illinois Public Act 96-410, Illinois Public Act 97-378) for non-mandatory school-related activities that do not include transportation between home/bus stops/school, provided the aforementioned six-monthly safety checks are up to date.

Illinois Public Act 97-896 and Public Act 99-888 extended this to include mandatory school activities but only when driven by a driver with a school bus driving permit.

Here's the most important bill: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name...

In the US, your office is 20 miles away from the nearest grocery store, and both are 20 miles away from your house. Driving is like walking and buying gas is a non-negotiable cost of living.

Being brought to existence as a human, an in a prosperous country on top of that.

I'm thankful for every piece of code that has run in my computer. I'm grateful for all of you guys for helpful advice and fruitful discussions. Thanks for keep this flame burning with hope!

I honestly don’t know. I feel grateful for the basic stimuli of physical existence. I don’t really feel very good about anything else in my life due to years of serious health problems and my lack of a positive future - the best thing I have going now is that nobody can take anything away from me, I’d happily just die.

In the meantime, and thankful to be living in this time and amazing technology and opportunity. I’m grateful to be in a booming city with the glitzy culture during a time of relative peace.

HN is great too, you’re right.

I'm thankful that

- I found my wife and she agreed to spend the rest of her life with me.

- I was lucky to born into a loving family in a relatively stable part of the world

- that I earn money (decent money) doing something I enjoy

6 years ago I was in high school, rural USA, living in the unfinished attic of a house with a Master Lock on the pantry door (parents' idea of extending food runway). I had also never written a single line of code!

Now I have a beautiful apartment in Manhattan all to myself and I can do whatever the hell I want.

So thankful for everyone on the internet who acknowledged programming as a viable career. If I didn't have the software community telling me all this stuff was possible I never would have even tried.

A lot of things. But most immediately coming to mind are.

A) My wife, and family B) Having the opportunity to go to work each day and work in a sector I can feel good about. (Medical software)

1. Health

I have seen people and family members suffer from very bad chronic deseases. It can make your life a nightmare. I’m thankful that I’m relatively healthy and can lead a normal life without having to deal with problems of my body falling apart.

2. Family

It’s very important to have people you know love you despite your flaws and to know there’ll always be some people to have your back even when anybody else doesn’t care.

3. Friends

Very important to have good friends that you can talk to and help each other.

A sufficient amount of mental fortitude to continue with the struggles of living.

Dark Souls.

Friends I can count on one hand.

Everyone working at improving the human condition.

I'm thankful that Guido van Rossum made the Python programming language. It's the first language I really delved deep into in high school and it made me seriously consider a future in computer science. It's also a delightful language that I've had a fun time with and made some money with.

I was dead-broke four years ago, when I was just completing my Education at the age of Thirty. Four years later, I am doing OK (by my Country's standards) and I can count on many people as good friends.

I am thankful towards life for giving me a second chance to undo the mistakes that I committed the first time over.

I am thankfulk i tumbled on the video "Weezer - Pork And Beans" which then lead me to the following post before joining HN.


There is so much to be thankful for. Thank you to the many people on HN who have taken the time to type in an insightful comment and have resisted the urge to just down vote something they disagreed with and had the respect to share some insight.


The wealth of informtaion and access to people it brings. It truly is web of human minds.

My dog and best friend Merlin.


And Org mode.

Me too

> only read divisive threads and thus see it as a monoculture.

Wouldn't a divisive thread be seen as the opposite of a monoculture? Where you have disagreements, you have a range of perspectives.

Family and friends.

Tonight was wonderful. Every year is better than the last.

My wife and all the shit she put up with living with me.

Algebraic data types

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image, global connectivity, living at a time, and having the resources, to use one for viewing the other.

Great parents, lovely family (wife, kids), being healthy and able to work hard to provide them everything they need in life.

I am thankful for being happy and healthy.

I am thankful for my parents because they raise me up and fully support me in the journal of startup.


Family. All my family deeply loves each other, a true blessing.

Elixir. It made me a better programmer in every language.

Thankful for encryption, as it is synonymous with liberty.

dear me, thank you for being me.


This is the most under-voted answer.

Insatiable curiosity.

Film and music.

HN, of course.


Math textbooks

RS3057 gene for giving me absolute pitch.

Fast twitch muscle fibers for getting be bigger muscle faster with less training

23andme for telling me about my abilities which i never knew about


Let's not make this, of all threads, into a political flamewar.

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